Should You Hire a Software Asset Management Expert or Do It Yourself?

Software expenses can be one of the highest costs in any IT’s budget. You’re constantly asked to do more with less as your software budget continues to shrink, so it’s understandable a company would want to keep as much money within their IT department as possible. Software consultation seems like as good a point as any (it’s either that or forcing the IT department to turn in their shiny new coffee maker). So the question becomes should you hire a Software Asset Management Expert or do it yourself?

At Metrixdata360, over our seven years in this business, one question that comes up with many of our clients is if they really need a software consultant or if they can do it themselves? While we strongly advise for hiring a software consultant, we know it isn’t the most suitable option for everyone. We want to help you make the best decision, which is what we’re here to share today. What are some of the successes that you can experience with having a software consultant on your side verses doing it yourself?   

Doing SAM Yourself 

You’re the type of person who would learn how to fix a sink rather than hiring a plumber. There’s a lot of success that can be had with the build-your-own-SAM-team approach, such as:   

Pros   

  • You will have your own internalized team of experts that will know your system inside and out. You’ll get on the SAM journey together with a shared work culture and values. 
      
  • The initial cost of hiring and training an internal software asset manager will be significantly lower than hiring a software consultant team, according to Ziprecruiter, the average software asset manager can earn $85,000 annually within the United States.    

Cons  

  •  Software management is a relatively new discipline, so you’ll be hard pressed to find a candidate with the experience you need to give you results. This might leave you with the option of hiring someone who is under qualified but you don’t have time to hire a kid fresh out of college and have them climb the learning curb to figure out your software asset management, you will need the answers immediately.   
     
  • Since finding a software asset expert can be difficult, we’ve seen companies who building their own SAM programs that throw the task at their procurement specialist. Giving this task to someone who is way out of their depth will mean they won’t be able to give you an accurate depiction of your data.    
  • It is a massive challenge to find one expert that has the knowledge and skills to understand every vendor that you will have in your profile. Each vendor has different product use rights with different licenses that are subject to change. Microsoft alone changes their licenses rules up to 300 times a year. It would be considered a challenge for one person just to have a firm grasp of one vendor. That profile is not even including all the other skills that are required to effectively managed your software. Software Asset Management involves skills in legal matters, finances, negotiations and inventory comprehension. Finding one person who can do all that will be close to impossible.  
      
  • Most companies do not understand the time and resources that are wasted during an audit until they’ve been through one. It’s typical for the auditors to send your employees running back and forth, hunting down often irrelevant stray pieces of data. These tasks are not the type of things you can pass off to your intern, it must be your high paying technical staff rifling through your databanks. Your IT staff probably doesn’t have hours to waste on useless data hunts, which means they will procrastinate until the last minute and then do a rushed-out job that will leave gaps in your data.   

Hiring a Software Asset Management Professional    

There’s no shame in asking for help and seeking a professional in your software asset management could be considered the same as going to the doctor when you’re sick. According to ITAM Review’s article Software Asset Managers – The Skills to Look For… , software management experts come to the table with a high understanding of technology, a strong sense of business, legal matters and negotiation tactics, just to name a few. So, what are the successes and challenges you’ll experience when hiring a SAM professional?   

Pros  

  • One of the main reasons that SAM professionals are is so popular is because they are experts from the second that they walk through your door. They are not learning things on the fly but instead come to the table with years of experience.   
      
  • They are also experts on many vendors and are familiar with each vendor’s licensing. At Metrixdata360, for instance, we have experts on top vendors like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP but we can also look at your Citrix, Adobe and Autodesk profile with a critical eye, just to name a few of our services. For more information on our software vendor expertise, please visit our Service page.     
     
  • A SAM expert team can budget their time to match your deadlines. We had one customer come to us with a turnaround time of just three days and we were able to give them valuable feedback!    
      
  • Software Asset Consultants constantly monitor your software status as an ongoing service. Clients can get a license position at any time, so that you can have the confidence of knowing that you’re in great shape. If your vendors every call you to the front for a review or an audit, you won’t have to be nervous about the state of your data.   
     
  • They can show you how to do it yourself, they teach you along the way so that the next time you’re audited, you will be prepared even without help.   

Cons  

  • First appearance might make it seem like software consultants are more expensive than doing it yourself. The typical cost breakdown for SAM as a service are based on per device on a monthly fee. A company could pay anything from $4-$12 per device, that would be thousands of dollars a month!  Such cost can seem overwhelming at first, when compared to the option of hiring a software asset manager. However, consider the fact that you are asking one person or a small group of people to constantly monitor thousands of devices. Will they be able to do an effective job?   
     
  • If the SAM professionals don’t offer learning opportunities, then your company won’t learn how to manage the system internally and will remain reliant on external assistance.   
      
  • Your company may still have to go through a learning curve as the SAM professionals catch all of you up to speed and if your company isn’t willing to adapt to the style of the SAM professionals then you will spend a lot of time butting heads with one another.  

A Hybrid SAM Solution 

There is also a third option available to you when debating your next software asset management move. According to Rolling the SAM dice: in-house vs. managed from the ITAM Reviewmany companies are choosing to buy their own SAM tools but outsourcing the management of it.   

This option has become quite popular as it allows businesses the ability to maintain control over the methods of observation while also being assured that those assets are being well managed. If you feel like you have control over your daily software usage but need help preparing for an unexpected audit or if your business hosts a great deal of highly sensitive data, this might be the ideal option for you.   

For More Information   

It’s important that you make the decision that is best suited for your company, effective SAM management could save you anywhere up to 30% of your software expenses and save you even more money during a software audit. At Metrixdata360, that is our goal: cutting your software expenses down to the lowest number in whatever way works for you.   

The only thing that matters is that you’ve come to a decision about your software asset management strategy long before the auditors are knocking on your door. If you’ve decided that a professional is what you need then hop over to our Software Service Center for more details on our SAM professionals.

About MetrixData 360

MetrixData 360MetrixData360 translates software licensing agreements into clear understandings and drives significant cost savings in audits and negotiations.