Step 5.8 - Notes on Software Asset Inventory by InfoTech

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Optimizing Your IT Infrastructure: Info-Tech’s Step-By-Step Consulting Methodology

Squeezing the most efficiency and effectiveness out of your IT department is important at any time. But it’s even more critical when budgets are tight.

If your organization views IT as a cost center, you could be vulnerable to budget-cutting forces outside of IT that try to pare down every department based on bottom line numbers.

To avoid this, you need to build a value proposition within your organization, one where IT – and the underlying infrastructure on which your business operates – is viewed as a fundamental driver of corporate success and represents a key competitive advantage of your overall organization. This starts at a very high level through a defi nition of IT strategy and a linkage
between IT and organizational goals.

Once you have published your IT strategy document, and your vision, mission, and values statements are hanging on the wall, it’s time to delve into the details that make your infrastructure far more than the mere sum of its parts.

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                 5.8 Notes on Software Asset Inventory

A software asset inventory is an up-to-date listing of detailed information about the
client, network, and server software installed across your entire organization. The
information you collect can be used to better manage license and support contracts, plan
technology implementation, troubleshoot, and perform better financial management.

Compared with hardware, software is something of an "invisible" asset; because it is less
physical, it is much harder to track and much easier to misuse than its hardware
counterpart.

For example, the average company spends 10 to 20 percent of its software investment on
software updates and support services. Unbeknownst to them, however, most do not
actually use a sizeable portion of these paid-for, yet superfluous, assets.

As with conducting a hardware asset inventory, you need to decide which data fields you
wish to populate. The related tool within this methodology, "5.7 Software Asset
Inventory" contains a number of suggested fields. You are, of course, free to modify them
to reflect the reality of your technology environment. Use the table below as a guide to
decide what key information you wish to track in your software inventory.

Identification Data           Administrative Data           Historical Data
Unique asset identification   Date of acquisition           Support history
(serial number, product
number, license number)

Application name              Purchase order number         Usage monitoring details
Application vendor            Cost of license               Move/add/change history
Application version           Cost of annual support and    Training history
                              update fees

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