I recently had the privilege of attending (and co-sponsoring) the IBSMA SAM Summit in Chicago with some colleagues. It was a fantastic event with great sessions, a wonderful format and venue and amazing networking opportunities. Representatives were in attendance from all of the major software vendors and many tool companies, alongside SAM consultancies like TxMQ.
What I noticed right away, though, was the skewed attendance. It’s wonderful seeing so many foreign firms travel thousands of miles to attend a conference in the US, but I’m really surprised by the lack of American and Canadian firms in attendance.
I have a theory I’ve been forwarding on why. Like many of my theories, this one’s based on a limited sampling of statistically insignificant data sets. So please give me a lump or two of salt for starters.
First, some contextual background: It’s clear to any informed American that we, as a nation, excel at many things. We eat well, spend well, vacation well, enjoy the finer things in life when we can afford them (and oftentimes when we cannot), and we love kicking problems down the road. Denial is more than an art form. It’s a social science.
Social Security reform? Not my problem – let future generations deal with it. National debt? Please. My kids and grandkids can pay that off. The environment? Fossil-fuel consumption? Hardly seems to be an issue for my generation.
And US management is too often focused on putting out fires, instead of building fireproof things. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see so few American firms interested in understanding and investing in compliance improvement and best practices.
We must work to change the culture of America at a macro level, that much is clear. But we can all work today to change the culture of our workplaces to embrace SAM and declare it a must-do effort – not a future “nice to do if we get audited” thing.
Software Asset Management should NOT be undertaken as an audit-defense practice, but as a part of an overall corporate strategic leadership. Corporate best practice should be to have a tightly integrated leadership organization that includes a SAM leader alongside corporate-compliance officers, security officers and financial overseers.
From software-renewal-agreement negotiations to better alignment between software usage and needs, SAM brings tremendous goodness to organizations.
I’ve written separately on much of the value of SAM, as have many others, so I won’t get into a deep-dive here. But I will say again that a well-run company, with a solid SAM program, delivers greater value to its shareholders by:
- Minimizing waste (like unused software and entitlements)
- Maximizing efficiency (by limiting the wasted time replatforming out-of-compliance software or applications)
- Creating a more positive environment for stakeholders (there’s less stress and worry because there’s less uncertainty and confusion around assets and their allocation or disposition)
Let’s all do our part to help educate our workplaces on SAM as a necessary part of corporate governance and leadership. I’m ready to start the conversation: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.