Nowadays, software is a critical enabler that encompasses almost all core processes in various organisations, including universities. With the intention to maximise the IT functions and optimise the IT investment, management needs a clear picture of how their software needs are managed, procured, developed, tested, released, maintained and retired in accordance with the overall IT and organisational strategies. A typical SAM include the following key component that require the involvement of both universities' management and IT functions:
As the fundamental component for a SAM solution, IT Asset Lifecycle provides the baseline process flows for universities to maintain its software asset inventory. The IT Asset Lifecycle contains the following stages:
The "SAM Optimisation Model" is a framework to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of software asset management procedures currently established by universities. The universities can evaluate the maturity level of its SAM and categorised into following four models.
- Basic SAM - management has little / ad-hoc control over software asset; in addition, no policies and procedure are established to specify the requirement and standards for SAM
- Standardised SAM - SAM processes and tools are in place to keep track on software used by universities; however, the information recorded for SAM purpose may be obsolete and usually not used for management decision making
- Rationalised SAM - Active management of software is performed within universities. In addition, defined policies, procedures and tools with reliable software asset information are in place for management decision making
- Dynamic SAM - Optimised management of software is achieved by universities to "Real-time" cope with changes to strategic needs
Based on the assessment results, universities can identify the gap between their current SAM levels and the most optimised status (i.e. Dynamic SAM), and determine the required improvement areas.