4Matt Technology

Software Inventory

Software Inventory – The Foundation for SAM Deployment

In these more than 10 years working with IT Asset Management, clients repeatedly ask us how to increase their level of maturity in software asset management (SAM), the IT sector, inventory management or better known as IT inventory. To achieve this, we created a maturity scale based on IT sector models such as Gartner, IAITAM and ITIL where we present four maturity levels to improve IT management. At Level 1 (see figure below), you begin collecting software inventory across your current IT infrastructure. At this same time, it is necessary to collect relevant hardware inventory information or sufficient hardware components to determine license consumption for licenses based on characteristics such as processor, cores, RAM and disk. Often at Level 1, you are using a data source from a tool that was implemented to meet an IT need other than SAM activities. It is very common for these tools to have been acquired for purposes such as: deploying packages, installing software, service desk, or remote access. As an example of these inventory software we can mention Microsoft SCCM, Altiris and BMC. Despite the enormous amount of data coming from these IT asset inventory tools information sources, they are sufficient to only meet the business needs for which they were originally intended. For example, a configuration management database (CMDB) will contain hardware configuration information and may contain high-level information about software such as the Operating System and core server application. But a CMDB generally will not have complete software inventory information and rarely contains contract information, only going down to the operating systems level. This gap means that the CMDB database alone cannot provide sufficient detail to achieve true SAM Level 1 maturity; At best, CMDB data can provide an overview of installed applications. Starting a SAM Process in the Enterprise Where this becomes an issue is when a SAM initiative can be accelerated and created from a software governance or contract management perspective. In some organizations, the budgeting, purchasing, and vendor management process is relatively more mature compared to the software governance process, particularly with respect to servers and data centers. A purchasing team for megavendors such as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP or IBM products and also for IT vendor management, typically has greater insight into the complexities that exist in software license models, maintenance and support renewals, as well as the rules End User License Agreements (EULAs). This purchasing team, however, often does not have visibility or direct control over the process of collecting software inventory and making it available. They have historically relied on manual reports from Excel spreadsheets exported from applications to obtain an estimated inventory position, and then performed a manual reconciliation of their license entitlements to determine what will be purchased or renewed. How to have accurate and complete control of software inventory: In this model, unfortunately it is easier to lose control by not having an accurate and updated software inventory. IT governance may look at existing CMDBs, software installation solutions or hardware asset solutions and will conclude that the focus should be on automating the inventory reconciliation process, taking into account the rights of each software and its contracts (Level 3), or even move to Level 4, where license consumption is optimized. But in reality, the lack of an accurate software inventory means that the organization's SAM maturity is built on a shaky foundation. A reliable way to collect application evidence (installation evidence and when necessary, log data such as keys and usage) and correctly recognize installed software is critical to improving SAM processes in the enterprise. Manual reporting by application owners is typically not scalable and, more importantly, cannot typically be used as the basis for any type of automated software license optimization process. Additionally, many software vendors in an audit situation, such as a Microsoft Audit, will have an expectation of automated software inventory collection and not just use active directory data. Asset Management Maturity Your Software Asset Management (SAM) maturity is a mirror of the quality of your software inventory data, and if you are relying on inaccurate and/or incomplete inventory sources, you will generate inaccurate results or incomplete software license compliance and, most importantly, will not be able to more aggressively optimize contracts. Using a software inventory solution that utilizes the concept and follows software asset management (SAM) requirements of license optimization can be the first path to a more optimized and compliant state of software contracts for your organization. Another benefit that inventory management can bring to the company is data security, due to the fact that the IT manager and end areas have constant monitoring for decision making. If you liked this type of text and want to know more about Software Asset Management and how you can adopt different methodologies to bring benefits to your company, read more articles here on our blog! We have several topics and several options that can help you with tips and new ideas, and if you have any questions, contact one of our consultants or open a support ticket so they can answer all your questions. We are 4Matt Tecnologia, specialists in Software Governance. Contact Us Tag: life cycle, inventory

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7 Challenges for Hardware and Software Inventory in Industry

What are the biggest challenges in inventorying hardware and software in a factory? Have you ever heard of IT Asset Management or IT Asset Management? Have you ever imagined going through all sectors of a factory to locate devices? Follow us with 7 Challenges for Hardware and Software inventory in the Industry. Our team works on projects throughout Brazil and along with this great demand come great challenges. The list below highlights the main challenges encountered in one of our projects. We visited 18 locations in Brazil to do Software and Hardware Inventory of devices that couldn't be done remotely, so let's go! 1 – Large distance between devices Many times when inventorying devices on a factory floor, we encounter difficulty in reaching that device. You never know if that scale 60 km from the factory has a computer or not. 2 – Risks when accessing certain sectors When accessing a factory site we encounter several risk situations and to reduce this risk you will use PPE. Items such as escape masks, safety boots, and chemical repellents will be your great allies. 3 – Degraded Devices When hunting for machines, it is very common for some to appear in precarious conditions. Some have already corroded cables, are completely dusty and have not received preventative work for some time. And of course, it's much harder to locate something that hasn't been used in years. 4 – Lack of knowledge about the sectors The local IT team generally does not know the whole terrain, when we ask about a certain location we receive a negative response in various ways. Information on how to get to the sector, the number of machines and whether there is anyone in the area makes the search an adventure. 5 – Standards and restrictions In some critical operating locations it is difficult to gain access and carry out inventory on that machine. We then enter an approval process that can be time-consuming depending on the company hierarchy. There were cases where to get 1 computer, we needed the approval of 4 people first. 6 – Factory Environment The factory environment is not the most relaxing. Noise, high temperature and risky operations are happening all the time right next to you. Therefore, take extra care and make a good Software Inventory. 7 – In a factory, information does not reach everyone Some sectors in factories are not the most aware of projects in the industry. When we came up with the proposal to inventory the devices, many remained resistant. Ultimately, there’s nothing a good conversation can’t solve. Conclusion on Hardware and Software Inventory Locating devices in a manufacturing plant is not easy, we have challenges with people, processes and policies. But every difficulty is rewarded with knowledge and experience provides greater proximity to end users. We soon understood how to better help the industry with its IT pains. And of course, nothing better than at the end of this work seeing all the Hardware and Software information in a single portal, being managed as a living CMDB, following Software Asset Management processes and extracting the best views on reducing Hardware costs and Software, Hardware and Software Inventory We are 4Matt Tecnologia, specialists in Software Governance and Cloud Spend Management.

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