In its early days, IT asset management revolved around one thing: counting. How many PCs do you have? How many copies of a certain application do you own? How many PCs are associated with those licenses? While the data obtained from enterprise-wide inventories informed important projects, such as technology upgrades and migrations, hardware lease contracts and software license redeployments, the fact remained that young IT asset management processes were relatively primitive and rarely drove critical business decisions.
Today, the stakes are higher. Thanks to increasing pressure to prove value to the enterprise, IT organizations have evolved their asset management strategies beyond simple bean-counting exercises. Mature IT asset management (ITAM) programs now proactively drive high-level initiatives such as service support and delivery, and are integral to maintaining a healthy bottom line. Software asset management, especially, has moved to the forefront as a means of complying with regulatory concerns such as Sarbanes-Oxley, and meeting the stringent audit requirements of software vendors and third parties such as the Business Software Alliance (BSA).