In our latest ITAM Review podcast, Rich speaks with Fabian Gutschera, Team Lead for SAM Solution Sales at USU about Software Portfolio Management (SPM). Fabian shares his practical insights and real-world examples of SPM, shedding light on how SPM can lead to better decision-making, cost optimization, and enhanced security.
One part of the conversation centred around the revelation that the credit rating agency, S&P Global ratings, quietly announced (via a cyber security report) that companies that pay inadequate attention to ITAM as a factor in their cyber risk management processes may find their creditworthiness impacted. So in other words, ITAM is now critical to achieving a good credit rating.
As Rich states, this is “possibly the clearest indication to non ITAM business people of just how important IT asset management is to the overall business.”
Fabian comments, “I thought that was really interesting. This is a really, really, big thing. This is a great article for our ITAM managers out there, because if you can use that article as a baseline of your work and say, Hey, look! We are sometimes seen as though we’re just spending money, slowing the business down and doing some things that hinder us in in achieving our nice and fast IT business goals. But taking that into account that it’s so important to look into. In the end a rating from S&P is something that is not only relevant for a small IT area. it’s relevant for the whole business and for everything that you do.”
In an ideal world, if you wanted to make your life as easy as possible your organisation would limit itself to just two applications. Say, Microsoft Office and some Windows Servers. And that’s it. Everyone needs to work with those two applications and nothing else. But that’s not what a company does. At the end of the day, we from ITAM cannot define what functions are needed out there, but we can help to ensure the right software is chosen to deliver that functionality.
Strategic Software Portfolio Management is about looking at what software is deployed and asking questions which specific functionality the organisation needs, and whether the software portfolio fulfils those needs in the most cost-efficient way possible. Take PDF editing for example. Everyone knows Adobe Acrobat, but there are many thousands of free or alternative PDF editors out there. As a result your organisation may have a multitude of PDF editing applications out in the wild, yet it only needs one.
For Fabian, this separation of the specific software application from the functionality is a key takeaway. “When we talk about software portfolio management, we have to split the specific software product from the functionality or the use cases it covers.”
“We need to avoid having the same functionality across thousands of different applications.”
GDPR compliance is another area where SPM can help. “Is there a GDPR risk associated with this software for example? Is there some data flowing to some countries that I don’t want them to flow to?”
You can only answer these sorts of questions if you know what software you have and whether it aligns to the functionality that you need.
This is just some of the topics discussed in the extensive podcast. Whether you’re an ITAM Professional, IT leader, or a curious business professional, this podcast will provide actionable strategies to help you align your software portfolio with your business goals.