If you’re looking into IT asset management, you may have realized you use many different types of IT equipment in business operations. One of those types of equipment is software assets.
The processes for software asset management can be a bit different than other types of assets since these are components that take up digital space in the business environment rather than physical.
This article will cover exactly what software assets are, some examples of them, and the purpose of software asset management. Keep reading to get all the details.
What Is a Software Asset?
A typical business uses a lot of different types of software in its processes. You want to make sure all software is up to date and licensed appropriately. Before getting into that, let’s cover the exact definition of software assets.
Definition of a Software Asset
Software assets are digital applications or programs used within a business. Along with that, any licenses, permissions, and documentation that apply to the use of software programs also fall under software assets.
What Are Examples of Software Assets?
Since there are several types of software assets, you may want to know some examples of them to help identify the ones your business uses.
First, let’s say that your business uses software to track and process your payroll and other expenses. The payroll software itself would be considered a software asset. In addition, the license you purchase for the rights to use the payroll software would also be a software asset.
You would always want to ensure the license allowing you to use that program is up to date to avoid any accounting or payroll errors. Your employees certainly wouldn’t be happy if they didn’t get paid because your payroll software wasn’t operating correctly.
Another type of software that may be used in business is cybersecurity software. Many companies use this software to prevent cyber attacks or data breaches.
The cybersecurity program you use would fall under the category of software assets. In addition, the license to use the software and any important documentation with it would also fall under the category of software assets.
Staying up to date on this software would be pretty crucial. You always want to make sure your business and information are secure. So as you can see, software assets play a big role, and managing them is important.
What Is the Purpose of Software Asset Management?
The main purpose of software asset management is to keep all the information associated with software assets organized and up to date to get the best value and use out of it.
Since many of your business operations run on software, it can cause a big ripple effect if one of your key programs isn’t functioning correctly. Fortunately, there’s a process you can use to keep tabs on it effectively.
Software Asset Management Process
The software asset management process follows along with the lifecycle of software assets from when you start using them until they no longer serve a purpose or usefulness in a business. This process goes as follows:
- Software asset inventory: The first step is creating an inventory of all software assets on hand. Your inventory will help manage all the other steps in the process so your software always stays up-to-date and functions correctly.
- Software procurement: This stage is where you buy new software for your business. There would typically be some research here to pick the best software for your needs at the most economical price.
- Software deployment: Once new software is purchased, it will need to be deployed into daily operations. IT technicians would work to make a smooth transition to get it up and running and into daily functions seamlessly to prevent any delays in business.
- Software maintenance and audits: After the software is deployed into operations, it should be regularly audited and maintained. As mentioned earlier, you want to make sure licenses are always up to date and your software is updated whenever applicable.
- Software disposition: In the world of technology, where needs are always changing, business software will eventually phase out of usefulness. When this happens, it would need to be taken out of business operations and potentially replaced with something else, which would start the management process over again.
Following along with this process helps ensure that all software assets work correctly and that your business gets the most value from the fee you pay to use these programs.
Software Assets List
To give you some additional examples of software assets, here’s a list of some common ones that businesses use regularly:
- CRM software
- Accounting software
- Time tracking software
- Project management software
- Communication or video conferencing software
- Sales software
- Data rights
- Software development agreements
- Maintenance agreements
All of these software assets can have a big impact on companies that use them, so managing them accordingly is important.
What Is the Difference Between Software and Hardware Assets
In addition to software assets, you may also wonder about hardware assets. The main difference between software and hardware is software is digital programs, whereas hardware is physical and tangible computer equipment. Common hardware assets are personal computers, hard drives, and SIM cards.
Importance of Managing Hardware Assets
As much as software asset management is essential, hardware asset management may be even more crucial. Your computer hardware is the backbone of all business operations. It’s essentially the machinery that keeps everything running smoothly.
For example, you can’t access your marketing software if your laptops aren’t functioning correctly. That means, first and foremost, you need to make sure your hardware assets are tracked, maintained, and working well through your asset management system.
If you’re looking for help with hardware asset management, Multiply will be an excellent resource.
How Multiply Can Help
Multiply is a team of senior service technicians and IT consultants that helps with hardware asset and data management. We partner with businesses to help with audits and create streamlined processes that make asset management easier.
We’ll help bridge communication between all teams involved while ensuring you get the best possible results. All of this is done while taking weight off your shoulders in the process.
To learn more about how Multiply can help, contact us today!