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Total Asset Management. Designing a Proper Catch Point Screen – This paper presents what has been learned over the 20+ years in this space about what works and what does not. It presents the concept of data elements falling within three specific classes (each class having specific implications in how to capture those data elements) as well as presenting ten important design principals to consider when designing asset change data capture screens.

Total Asset Management. The Managed Software List (MSL) – This paper presents the four challenges facing anyone who is pursuing software license compliance and/or management. It questions the common practice of attempting to show compliance on all software titles, as well as pursuing only compliance (instead of the true value-producing solution of license harvesting and re-use). Recommended instead is the formation of the Managed Software List (MSL), the subset of currently deployed titles that together represent 80% of the risk/value. The MSL is typically comprised of fewer than 20% of the titles in the enterprise, which greatly increases the probability of success of pursuing software license management as well as the speed to benefit, all the while maintaining an acceptable risk profile. This paper goes on to show the top level approach to forming the initial MSL, as well as recommendations around governance and socialization of the concept.

Total Asset Management. Reference Architecture and Standard Methodology – This paper defines ESI’s ITAM Reference Architecture and standard methodology for defining, designing, implementing, and running ITAM programs.

Total Asset Management – Value Focused Approach – By structuring an IT Asset Management (ITAM) program around the creation of tangible value, executive management’s attention can be attracted and held. Furthermore, program success can be demonstrated, scope can be managed, and staffing levels and increases can be justified. It all starts with a value analysis, which is simply the benefits side of a standard net present value business case. This paper describes a value-focused approach to ITAM.

Total Asset Management. Software Asset Management, An Overview – Most businesses, like most citizens, are law-abiding. The majority do not knowingly break the law and most, when asked, would answer honestly that they have complied with all regulations and requirements regarding the licensing of their software. The unfortunate and costly reality, however, is that these same seemingly law-abiding businesses would not survive a software piracy enforcement audit unscathed. The available information and laws on what constitutes proper proof of license with respect to software assets is murky at best. Navigating what your legal rights and liabilities are in software asset management is worth an investment of time and finances up front because the penalties for noncompliance – even when unintentional – are onerous and swift.

Total Asset Management. Software Licensing Law. Your Rights and Responsibilities – Computers, and the programs we run on them, are an integral part of our lives and essential to our work. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that they are a relatively recent addition to the workplace and that the law governing their use is still emerging. It behooves every company to stay abreast of the law in this area and be aware of both your rights and responsibilities with respect to your software assets. The software publishers have aligned into a formidable force and aggressively pursue their rights and the prosecution of any individuals or businesses who violate those rights, which translates into considerable fines, lost work time, and possible imprisonment for anyone who either willfully or inadvertently commits software piracy.

Total Asset Management. Working with Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs) – Capturing asset financial and purchasing information is important to most ITAM solutions, but such capture is often spotty due to the nature of having to forward shipping/purchasing documentation to the asset manager for data entry. Many vendors can now offer electronic versions of shipping notices, called Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs). ASNs carry highly accurate data which includes such coveted purchasing data elements as purchase order, invoice number, purchase price, order date, ship date, as well as serial numbers. ASNs also carry software items and can be used to automate the capture of purchased license information. The use of ASNs, however, is not without challenges, which are described in this paper. When the challenges are overcome, however, ASNs offer a highly accurate and automated way of sourcing important data elements to your ITAM repository.

Total Asset Management. Sarbanes-Oxley and the Autodiscovery “Watchdog” Process – This paper shows a real example of where a common IT Asset Management autodiscovery concept – the concept of using autodiscovery to validate the presence of network-connected PCs in the enterprise – can cause concern for internal and external auditors when considering Sarbanes-Oxley. It shows the auditor’s perspective and the trap that an IT Asset Manager can fall into if not careful. Finally, this paper gives a recommendation on how to proceed.

Total Asset Management. Value Model and Comparative Value Propositions – This paper is a “must read” for anyone considering using Information Technology Asset Management (ITAM) to pursue Software License Reconciliation in order to demonstrate license compliance – this includes internal audit groups. Contrary to popular belief, this paper shows such pursuit yielding a negative value statement for many companies.

The focus of this paper is to quantify expected value statements for six primary benefits of an ITAM solution, in order to examine and recommend components of a focused ITAM approach. The focused approach recommended herein is in contrast to the generally accepted all-encompassing ITAM solutions being promoted, and requested, today.

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Software Entitlements – Are You Getting What You Paid For? – Some clients make it a habit of purchasing additional entitlements, such as software maintenance or Microsoft’s Software Assurance, when they purchase licenses. We have seen, however, those same clients leaving money on the table as they fail to exercise some, if not many, of those entitlements.

Self-Service Software Portal – What Features are Important? – Many clients have, and/or are in the process of implementing/maturing, a self-service software request portal. However, some critically important design criteria are often not considered.

Software License Compliance Drift – Are You At Risk – As clients embark on a Software Asset Management (SAM) program, their first focus is usually on producing a compliance report. What is seldom, if ever, considered is the need to address certain organizational behaviors that contribute to out-of-compliance positions. The result is almost always Compliance Drift, or the inability to hold a compliance position once established.

Counting Data Center Software Titles – Where’s the Silver Bullet? – Many clients, faced with complex licensing schemes primarily for their Data Center titles, are looking for the “silver bullet” – an automated way to easily determine their current deployed position.

The SAM “Axle of Perfection”. Have you wrapped yourself around it? – Many clients today seem to have stalled their Software Asset Management (SAM) initiatives because they cannot figure out how to effectively, and continuously, determine compliance due to the inherent complexity of software licensing.

ITAM Lead – What Attributes Should You Look For? – The question is often asked – what qualities should we look for in a lead and to where should ITAM ultimately report in the organization?

ITAM – The Immutable Truths – With eighteen years of experience in IT Asset Management, several immutable truths have emerged that can be considered as the governing laws of IT Asset Management.

ITAM Accuracy – Assigning “Trust” Levels to Various Sources – ITAM implementations almost always struggle with accuracy, and many times the struggle is self-imposed. Lack of foresight and/or lack of structured data capture design often results in a process that ends up overwriting good data with bad over time. This paper discusses the assigning of “trust” levels as a means to protect static data once captured.

ITAM Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – Don’t Specify what you can’t Measure. – There appears to be plenty of debate and advice floating around the industry about what the accuracy of an ITAM repository should be – especially when defining SLAs for outsource engagements. Numbers ranging from 85% to 99% are often discussed and sometimes make their way into contracts. What appears lacking, however, is thought on how to actually measure for compliance.

ITAM Data Elements – Divide into Three Classes – When designing the process for any ITAM solution, start with a data dictionary that lists all data elements that must be tracked. Classify each data element as either Static, Dynamic, or Component. These classifications are important in designing and analyzing proper processes.

ITAM Research Policies and Procedures Before Linking Your ITAM Repository to Legacy Systems – You may be setting yourself up for long term accuracy problems and little or no recourse for correction if you’re not careful in how you link to legacy systems – and to which legacy systems you choose to link.

ITIL – How will it influence ITAM and how is it different? – ITIL is being adopted in large organizations as a means to model IT service management and delivery. It will start at the top and filter down, which means that ITAM practices will eventually be impacted.

ITIL CM – Why the Emphasis on Managing Change? – As one reads the CM chapter (chapter 7) in the ITIL book entitled “Best Practice for Service Support” in hopes to compare CM to ITAM, the overwhelming emphasis appears to be on managing change to configuration items. Why is this focus so strong and what about the important ITAM concept of minimizing asset life cycle costs?