The Importance of SAM
Software Asset Management (SAM) is not a new thing, many corporates have viewed SAM as a vital process; thus, investing their resources to streamline the process. Many case studies have shown that SAM can benefit companies in many ways and in this article these benefits are summarised into four points:
- Optimise the IT Investment
- Provide a comprehensive inventory of the software and hardware
- Increase security measures by identification of activity from un-authorised software
- Avoid unbudgeted IT spending due to audits and expired hardware
SAM might be a familiar topic for the global IT world; however, Indonesia is one of those countries that is not yet familiar with the activity. Awareness regarding license compliance is currently low, and this fact is supported with data collected by the Business Software Alliance, an industry body that promotes the properly licensed use of business software, which reflected by the chart below. The chart indicated that Indonesia has the highest rate of unlicensed software but at the same time lowest commercial value. This can possibly mean that most of the piracy was done in non-commercial sector such as personal use, government, or education.
US-BASED research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) Indonesia reported that the country’s information and communication technology (ICT) spending will increase 16% to Rp394 trillion (US$29.5 billion) in 2020, from the 2017’s prediction of Rp339 trillion (US$25.4 billion), with majority spending goes to devices rather than software, and most of the spending is driven by consumers (57%) against enterprises (43%), because the consumer market is big and people are buying more devices.
Main Challenges for SAM in Indonesia
Despite the country’s high piracy rate, many enterprises, especially national-wide and multinational have concerns about SAM. There are several reasons for them including GCG implementation, compliance and publisher’s audit activities. However, implementation of SAM is not as easy as it seems in Indonesia. Aside from common SAM challenges, such as complex licensing rules from multiple software publishers and non-homogenous data (for example number of user, software inventory, virtualisation configuration, contract agreement and purchase order), significant challenges that faced by almost all the enterprise in Indonesia is including:
- Inadequate IT Infrastructure
Geographical nature of Indonesia divided the country into multiple islands, which limits effective IT reach to branches especially limited access for East Indonesia area. Enterprises with business that requires country-wide reach will need to implement a decentralised IT and asset procurement strategy to support operational on branches in rural areas. Latest trending on rental system and IT outsourcing services is being explored by some companies to overcome these difficulties; however, there are not much vendor with nation-wide reach, acceptable capabilities and reasonable price.
- Human Resources
Obvious problem is the inequality of human resources capabilities in terms of IT between the big cities and rural areas, or some called as digital divide. This divide also impact on the habit of using IT devices such as mobile phones and computers; moreover, the importance of using original software and licensing rules.
This article was put together not to discourage the reader from implementing SAM, but for them to acknowledge the specific challenges; therefore, able to strategise on how to overcome them.
Understanding the importance of IT growth, government of Indonesia launched a big scale project in 2007 to implement nation-wide backbone fibre optic network to develop better IT infrastructure, which projected to be completed on 2018. Once the project finish, government is hoping that the growth of ICT in districts will significantly increase.
However, government interruption is not the only thing that must be done. Additionally, each enterprise needs to have a solid SAM awareness that will lead to companywide contribution with the management sponsorship. SAM team must also be appointed, and it should be a multidisciplinary team since SAM relate to several departments aside from IT (for example, procurement, finance, accounting). These actions will impose the employees with a new culture of SAM, which will then reduce the piracy minded actions.
It is recommended to get external help on SAM implementation such as software publishers. Several software publishers offer SAM program aside from their annual license audit to assist enterprises on understanding their licensing complexity and enterprises’ needs on their products.
In the end, the most effective way is to engage with vendors with the expertise of SAM consultancy before planning any SAM strategy, vendors like Crayon, with global presence have the experience on assisting multiple enterprises and providing benefit from optimum SAM implementation.