Deploying SAM Tools Part 2: Risks and Overlooked Issues

  • Posted by: Adam Best

In case you missed it, Part 1 was about the Top 10 Activities to Getting Started in a SAM tool deployment. Several things can set back your Software Asset Management project. Hopefully, you’ve thought of them already, but just in case, I’ve detailed the most common and important issues I’ve encountered:

  • Executive support. SAM projects are wide ranging and could have impacts on people and process across the organisation, so make sure you have support or at least awareness at a high enough level.
  • Not including the Security team early enough. Not getting permission to open network ports, install agents, or run scans can delay or cause cancellation of the entire project or at least retraction of the scope.
  • Forgetting to include Procurement or other teams. Include all teams who will be expected to either have input in to the implementation, or more importantly be responsible for the ongoing running of the SAM tool.
  • Do not underestimate your required amount of work.
    • Technical: The implementer will do an amount of work, but there will always be work for you to complete. This might be providing credentials, IP addresses, deploying the agent via GPO or SCCM, or configuring network protocols to allow traffic to travel to the SAM tools or to the SAM tools management service for updates and normalisation. Note: these tasks may both be technical and political, and in the case of a shared serviced or international organisation, this may cross national or organisational boundaries.
    • Project team: Gathering data on 100% of your network is an involved task with configuration and possible extensive troubleshooting. Adding the project task to an already busy team member can lead to project delays. Be prepared for potential pushback from the project team and reassign work as needed to keep your project on track.
    • Data Gathering: Required data will come from several internal and external sources including vendor licence reports these may have a lead time. Data may need to be sources from historic read only system. Data will also need to be rationalised, validated and prepared.
  • Data validation. Don’t forget to validate all data, the scope of the estate, the licences and entitlements. Entering bad data could sabotage the whole effort. Validation will be your responsibility.
  • Accountability. You are accountable even in the case of a managed service.
  • Don’t overlook processes. Finally, don’t overlook the process to support the technical implementation. Having a working tool is one thing, you need to ensure you use it, enter licenses, and run reports that require these processes.

I’ll leave you with the a couple of final thoughts.

“War is ninety percent information.” Napoleon Bonaparte, French Military and Political Leader

“Errors using inadequate data are much less than using no data at all.” Charles Babbage

If you’d like to learn more about how Asset Vision can help you address SAM in your organization, please feel free to contact us.

Author: Adam Best

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