How to control Data Transfer across your Network


The degree to which computing has become a part of everyday life and day-to-day business has forced a change in the way business approaches how they manage the money, the processes and the systems within an organisation.

As technology becomes more widely used within an organisation and takes a more prominent vital within the vital functions of that business, it is important to make sure that an appropriate level of attention is applied to this computing. Technological systems that may have once been overlooked are now key in the decision making process.

Technology have come a long way during the past few years and are now seen as vital elements of any company. As such, they are allocated larger budgets but must also be able to handle a greater amount of responsibility.

But once you have spent a large amount of your budget on developing your IT infrastructure and seen the needs of your organisation change, how do you make sure that the technology you are using can keep up with demand? Moreover, how can you achieve this without spending a large amount of money?

This is the role carried out by IT management software and systems.

Every company and every environment will have different specifications and will create different problems. To meet these requirements there are a range of different technologies and approaches that can be implemented to help control the IT assets of your company.

Software Asset Management

Software Asset Management (SAM) is built to do exactly what it says on the tin – monitoring and managing the deployment and usage of software packages within your company. It is a business process rather than a distinct discipline and is becoming a more critical part of the modern business environment, particularly for businesses operating in the field of IT. Despite the many benefits of SAM, there are still a great many companies that are not utilising it to its full potential.

SAM is not simply a tool for support staff rolling out software across a large corporate network, but can be a critical tool to help improve performance at all levels of a business. The objectives of SAM include monitoring expenses of the IT infrastructure within a business, negating legal risks associated with incorrect software license usage and sustaining high levels of productivity by making sure software is up to date and fit for its purpose. As IT usage in a company grows, so do the potential benefits of SAM.

The practice of software asset management is often seen as an unnecessary evil due to the abstract nature of what it is designed to deal with, and the business case for using a SAM solution is not always obvious until a full of the software infrastructure of a company has been done.

Financial benefits are still the most motivating commercial factor when choosing to use software asset management technology within a company. Every corporation needs to make profit after all and expenditure is a very measurable figure.

An increasingly large amount of a organisation’s IT budget is spent on software licensing so there is a vital need to invest to correctly manage this spending. As businesses expand and spread, their software requirements can change greatly and equipment and software can swiftly become outdated. There is no need to spend money to maintain the licenses on this outdated software, which is where software asset management really delivers an edge.

SAM is not restricted to simply the IT department of your company either. As a management cycle it will often involve many of the departments within a business, including Finance Human Resources, to make sure that it runs as efficiently as possible.

SAM can easily be achieved within your organisation through a viable companysolution that is tailored to your specific needs.

Why follow a SAM Strategy?

Having seen the many benefits of utilising a SAM solution, how do you know that it would be correct for your company? Each company is different and has its own unique set of challenges and benefits, so any strategy you will undertake needs to be catered to these specific traits.

There are more than simply monetary benefits that can be gained through the management of licensing and maintenance agreements across a companies IT network. Productivity can be hugely improved by ensuring that employees have the latest editions of software permitted under current licenses held, and communication inside the business is helped when support staff know exactly what is in use on every workstation under their control.

Financial Savings

As discussed before, perhaps the most persuading reason to utilise software asset management within your company is the potential financial savings that can be made. The profitability of your business is always going to be the bottom line so any strategy that can help to improve this profitability by lowering costs is one that should be considered.

The most direct way that SAM can help to reduce costs is by identifying any software running on your corporate network that is no longer necessary. The software might not be being used anymore, it may be very outdated to be of use or it may be duplicated on your system.

By clearing these items of software that are no longer a benefit to the operation of your business you are streamlining a large portion of your IT network. Paying for unnecessary software licenses and support and maintenance agreements means that more money can be spent on the critical parts of your IT system.

Mitigate Risk

A surprising percentage of software that is currently used in the business environment is either licensed incorrectly or not licensed at all. Running any amount of uncontrolled software on your IT network is not advised, because when left unchecked it can become incredibly unpredictable.

Unlicensed software programs can be introduced into an uncontrolled IT system in a number of ways. Software may have been included when your IT hardware was originally bought although the initial software licenses may have expired. Without the correct security policies in place, users may also be able to load their own software onto the system.

The risk of running unlicensed software on your system is clear. When something goes wrong with the hardware or software platform behind your critical processes, how do you handle the situation? Running a complex software system without the appropriate support can create a metaphorical minefield when it comes to disaster recovery and can critically inhibit your responsiveness to unforeseen events.

Some of the most profitable Centennial distributors throughout recent times have viewed SAM as key part of their portfolio.

Implementing SAM in your Organisation

As previously discussed, there are numerous potential advantages to using a good software asset management strategy within your organisation, both monetary and otherwise. It is therefore important to determine which branches of software asset management you should implement first since certain benefits will be achieved more speedily than others. Some may take a period of years to be fully felt.

The discovery process can be seen as three primary areas that have to be performed to really develop an accurate picture of the usage of software assets within your business. These are:


Inventory is the most basic function of the discovery process. It is vital that an accurate audit of software assets within your organisation is created to help your IT managers to maintain baselines for your IT system.
Fortunately, this process can now be automated and even the largest of infrastructures can be investigated and analysed in a relatively short period of time. Inventory should be able to identify your software assets regardless of their physical location or computing characteristics. Modern inventory processes are capable of this.


The next step in the discovery process involves the capture of the software license entitlements that cover the software programs discovered in the inventory. The capture process should collect entitlements for all of the software that is installed on your network, even when the software is not currently used. Without this step the inventory may be almost useless.

The element of human error can be avoided by using automatic tools that are specifically designed to create a library of license entitlements. Packages that are currently employed are very efficient at capturing accurate data. These tools will also maintain databases containing up to date information from software vendors.

Identification & Validation

The next process is to match up your software audit to the repository of licensing information that were created in the last two stages. Errors may have been made anywhere from the original invoices for software to the most recent audits performed on your IT network. These errors can now be rectified.

One critical factor in the validation step is the ability to combine the license entitlements on your system to your company’s proof of entitlement. This will be vital if any arguments with software vendors arise as a consequence of the discovery process.

Once these steps have been performed you will have built an incredibly detailed picture of how your IT system is delivering software packages to its users. It will be much easier to identify any trouble spots on your network, or areas of software use that are no longer of any particular benefit to your activites.

You can now begin a period of reconciliation upon your network. You should compare the software programs that are actually used on your system against the licensing and support contracts that you are paying for and bridge any divides between the two. This is when the financial benefits of SAM start to take effect.

The software distribution in your network may include many hundreds or perhaps thousands of individual installations, and there are any number of restrictions that may be associated with the licensing contracts you have in place. It is therefore essential to automate the reconciliation process, utilising one or more programs to apply intelligent rules to the process. These rules can be catered to the specific needs of your company

To learn more about the SAM process you could use microsoft licensing information through the Internet.

Compliancy and Flexibility with Software Asset Management

Many of the fundamental practices of a successful software asset management strategy are based upon the concepts laid out in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, or ITIL. This library details a number of principles and best practices that should be followed for successful control of IT operations.

This library is a changing publication and is often updated with new ideas and techniques that cater to the constantly changing IT backdrop of modern business. A good software asset management strategy should be flexible enough to comply with the guidelines set out in the ITIL whilst matching the changing requirements of the company within which it is actively used.

The International Standard Organisation (ISO) has created a standard that applies directly to software asset management practices. This standard, ISO 19770-1, is an incredibly comprehensive collection of guidelines that are designed to ensure that software asset management is utilised in such a way as to “satisfy corporate governance requirements”. Standards of this kind play an essential role in achieving standardisation across an industry.

The ISO standard should certainly be adhered to when designing a SAM strategy for your own business, although the level of detail covered within can easily become a daunting challenge. It is important to remember that no matter what recommendations you follow when designing a SAM strategy, whatever plan you decide to implement must help your business rather than hinder it. Industry standards cannot simply be copied when it comes to applying them to your company.

Designing a complete and comprehensive software asset management strategy for your own business may actually never come to fruition. Your plan must be flexible enough to change and mature as your organisation does, and it must allow for modifications to your daily tasks, no matter how trivial or underlying they might be.


It is clear to see that as the scope and importance of computer systems within your company grow, so does the need for correct and efficient monitoring of these systems. Gone are the days when an IT department was a luxury that would occasionally forward the business. Computer systems are now critical to the modern business. Critical systems need to be controlled to an appropriate level.

As with other parts of any company, a number of different plans should be evaluated and used in order to ensure the smooth running of day to day activities. software asset management should not be the only tool used to manage computing assets within your organisation, but rather one of a number of complimentary techniques used to control the system as a whole. software asset management can go a long way toward aiding your business but should be supported by other techniques.

So if you think that your organisation is currently suffering from a lack of planned monitoring and control over its IT infrastructure, or that the possible advantages outlined in this article could provide a crucial market edge over your competitors, then it would be worth investigating how software asset management could be employed within your business.

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