As organizations grow, one thing that grows with them is the number of software that the organization uses to keep its business…organized. It’s easy to picture; first, a business might only need some simple Microsoft products, doing their bookkeeping by hand, but as the number of employees and customers and contracts grow, they might implement a bookkeeping software. Then, over time, organizations deliver many functions, both internally and externally, most of which require associated software; and for a large organization, this can be overwhelming. So, again, to keep all of their business…organized, organizations will use yet another software. This software is often referred to as a software asset management tool.
A software asset management tool is a software dedicated to the management of software within an organization. These management tools will consolidate the software of the organization so that they each can be easily accessed an examined. The tool will keep information on the different software, again, consolidating this information for increased accessibility. Examples of information the software management tool will keep on various software includes documents, invoices, and prices. The software tool will also track software expiration, so that none of the essential software will unknowingly expire, debilitating the day-to-day functions of the organization.
Software management tools not only keep track of the software and consolidate them, but they also take the information they gather a step further by creating usage reports. The reports that these tools create can reveal the actual effectiveness of the software.
An example of the usefulness of usage reports might be that a company has grown quite large, and over the years they’ve added dozens of different kinds of software to aid in the function of their daily processes. However, over time, they’ve acquired some software that overshadows others, creating a situation where software that the company pays for is actually hardly ever being used and is therefore obsolete. Software management tools will gather this kind of data and create usage reports so that organizational managers can easily identify software that is actually costlier than its worth.
Though software management tools do a lot of passive data collection, they also have the ability to perform actual management. Through software management tools, an organization can ensure that software is being used as intended. Organizations can monitor individual software users within their organizational network, and when deviations are made, for example, someone uses Google.com in an inappropriate way at work, action can be performed, such as blocking the site. Another example could be that when the bookkeeping software is accessed from an outside source, the software itself activates an administrative lock. Or when an individual computer within the organization’s network acquires a virus that tries to attach itself to software on the hard drive, the computer automatically restarts.
Managing a larger organization becomes an increasingly complex task, particularly when it comes to keeping the organization’s software controllable and user-friendly. But organizations typically will use software asset management tools to keep their software easily managed.