Everyone in the asset management business has challenges around both client and server software discovery. This ongoing challenge in our industry has plagued organizations for years. There is no silver bullet in this uphill battle. So how do companies make inroads with this challenge?
Most organizations like yours have software installed on many desktops, laptops and servers. In order to know what is truly deployed on those devices you need to be able to perform software discovery. This task is arduous most of the time because unless you have state of the art tools, it is tedious, time consuming and oftentimes guesswork.
Ideal Tools and Reality post editado!
The state-of-the-art software tools work fabulously – if you could afford them. Most of us who work in asset management dream that our VP would open the checkbook to procure these discovery tools. We know that procuring this type of tool would cost upwards of one million dollars, but we also know for sure that the tool would pay itself off in time tenfold.
If your company is like most others there are hodge-podge ways of producing discovery information. Home-grown tools, older less accurate tools, interviewing systems installers, surveying… these are methods that are typically used with mediocre discovery results.
How Software Vendors can Help With Software Discovery, and the Risks Thereof
Although this may sound far-fetched we have worked with some vendors that have their own discovery tools and are willing to come in for free to run scans to find what you truly have installed for their software. This is a double-edged sword; on the one hand you are opening yourself open to be over deployed and non-compliant, on the other hand it is a blessing to find out what you really have installed. This option can be a win-win for both your company and the vendor.
Prioritizing Methods of Software Discovery
Asset management professionals may find some sanity in prioritizing. Yes we all need to care about all the software we have deployed but the software that puts our companies at the most risk – that is the software we want to focus on. Asset managers can help themselves by identifying their top ten software products. Once you ID these, pinpoint how to get the most reliable discovery data. It’s essential to secure discovery data periodically, not just once a year. If discovery is done monthly or quarterly you can look for trends and compare that trending to entitlements purchased or renewal information.
Software discovery is slippery slope which makes it an uphill battle. Asset management professionals must put on their critical thinking skills and think outside the box to work around this quandary. Doing so makes the battle feel less uphill and more manageable.