In January 2023, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a troubling report detailing findings of their audit of NASA’s software asset management practices. They found that NASA’s software asset management practices “expose the agency to operational, financial, and cybersecurity risks with management of the software life cycle largely decentralized and ad hoc.”
The report goes on to say that NASA’s lack of a centralized asset management tool has resulted in $15 million of waste on unused licenses over the past five years. Furthermore, the OIG estimates that NASA could have saved an additional $20 million in fines, penalties, and overpayments in five years and if rectified, the agency could save another $4 million over the next three years.
Unfortunately, asset management woes aren’t unique to NASA. The IT world has evolved substantially in recent years and managing IT assets has escalated in complexity. Cloud computing has dramatically increased software-as-a-service (SaaS) and software subscriptions across distributed infrastructures. Software now comprises up to 50% of total product costs—and in some cases, 100% of those costs.
As software usage balloons, managing costs, usage, licensing, and compliance becomes increasingly difficult, wasting significant time and money and putting organizations at risk.
1. Greater visibility and control
First and foremost, ITAM solutions give you visibility and control across your entire IT portfolio. ITAM solutions discover, inventory, and track the entire IT asset lifecycle across an organization, providing a unified view and robust reporting capabilities. It also enables you to quickly drill down into details such as asset location, maintenance history, serial numbers, contracts, expiration/renewal details, utilization, end-of-support, and more.
2. Better cost optimization
In addition to visibility, ITAM provides data insights that can help you make informed business decisions about hardware, software, and licensing costs. ITAM can help you identify under and over-utilized assets so that you can right-size usage, saving precious dollars and boosting ROI. It can also help you with true-forward dates and projected costs. In fact, it’s really a crucial part of a healthy FinOps practice.
3. Increased licensing compliance
A big part of cost optimization is ensuring you don’t get dinged with costly fines and penalties for falling out of compliance. ITAM helps you ensure assets are used in accordance with licensing terms by identifying instances of overuse or misuse and managing maintenance expiration.
Furthermore, ITAM surfaces insights to help in licensing negotiations, potentially saving your organization money. Finally, ITAM streamlines the occasional audit by providing accurate data on assets and usage.
4. Improved security and privacy
Software vulnerabilities have increased in sophistication and pose significant security risks. ITAM helps ensure that software is up-to-date and patched against known vulnerabilities to help mitigate these risks. It can helps find and resolve issues such as coverage gaps, assets never covered, and even shadow IT.
From a privacy standpoint, ITAM helps validate that software tools used to manage and process sensitive data comply with privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA as well as internal privacy policies.
Make the most of your IT estate with GDTamp
In today’s world, having an effective IT asset management solution like GDTamp makes good business sense. GDTamp helps you take control of your IT assets by providing an easy-to-use dashboard to view and manage all your software and maintenance subscriptions and enterprise agreements.
We believe so strongly in the power of ITAM that we’ve made GDTamp available exclusively to our GDT clients as a value-add. It integrates into relevant OEM systems and GDT’s SAP system, consolidating asset data from automated and manual sources.
To learn more about how GDTamp can help you save time and money and optimize your tech estate, give us a shout.
Ben Strickland, Introduction to Software License Management, RAY ALLEN, Inc., August 2019