What Is ServiceNow Software Asset Management?

Overview

Software Asset Management (SAM) is a set of business practices and strategies for optimally managing acquisition, usage, and lifecycle maintenance of software across an organization. SAM enables organizations to create an accurate system of record for all software assets that can be maintained in real time. The goal of SAM is to:

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Optimize license usage

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Eliminate duplication of software licenses

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Reduce software-related expenses

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Identify license agreement violations

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Inform software purchasing decisions

SAM is one component of a broader set of practices known as IT Asset Management (ITAM). SAM focuses on managing software, while ITAM encompasses management of an organization’s entire IT environment.

Why businesses need SAM

Businesses spend considerable time and resources to manage software assets; this process is often done manually in spreadsheets and requires use of multiple inventory and discovery tools. The firm Enterprise Management Associates published a 2018 white paper that found:

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The average organization spends 15 hours every week resolving discrepancies among its IT assets.

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The average organization spends 30 hours collecting asset entitlement data in preparation for a major software audit.

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Organizations that are the most successful at SAM are 2.7 times more likely to rely on next-generation automation technologies than organizations that are comparatively successful at SAM.

Organizations are buying more and more software to support their business environment. Spending on software can easily eclipse 20% of IT budgets, according to ServiceNow. The research firm Gartner has estimated that spending on enterprise software will grow at 8.6% per year through 2020, with growth of SaaS (Software as a Service) estimated at a whopping 19.3%.

At the same time, Gartner has estimated that only 25% of businesses will be satisfied with the value they’re deriving from their software assets by 2020, primarily because they have not created proper alignment between the assets and their pre-purchase expectations for these assets.

A 2016 Gartner study found that organizations can cut spending on software assets by as much as 30% by implementing the following SAM best practices:

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Looking for savings in how software is configured

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Identifying all opportunities to recycle software licenses instead of making new purchases

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Using a SAM platform to automate, accelerate, and improve manual processes

Why businesses choose ServiceNow for SAM

ServiceNow’s SAM platform provides a single system of record upon which to identify opportunities to reduce costs, eliminate duplication of resources, improve compliance, mitigate security risks, and drive standardization. SAM also is nested with the greater ServiceNow ecosystem, allowing it to integrate optimally with:

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ServiceNow IT Asset Management (ITAM)

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ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM)

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ServiceNow IT Business Management (ITBM)

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ServiceNow IT Asset Repository and Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

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IT governance, risk, and compliance management

Businesses across all industries have reported achieving significant efficiencies using ServiceNow SAM:

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Community Health Systems, which runs 127 hospitals in 20 states, identified 19,000 machines with duplicative software licenses after implementing ServiceNow SAM. The duplicated licenses represented 40% of the company’s license true-up costs.

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Raymond James Financial, a financial services company that manages $732 billion in client assets, implemented ServiceNow SAM to reduce the labor-intensive process of preparing for vendor audits. For every audit, the company was spending two weeks to pull information from multiple systems, including financial systems, asset management systems, and SharePoint. Now, this information is available instantly.

Where SAM is headed

Businesses’ growing need to manage the lifecycle of software assets and ensure compliance readiness will drive the growth of the SAM market in the coming years. The analyst firms MarketsandMarkets, Research and Markets, and ReportLinker have all estimated that software asset management is expected to grow into a $2.3 billion industry by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 14.8%.

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