Hardware Asset Management and its Importance for Software License Optimization


IT Asset Managers and IT Procurement Managers have a lot on their plates. On the software side of things, they have to wade through hundreds of End User License Agreements (EULAs), enterprise agreements, maintenance programs and other contract documents, negotiate new contracts and renewals, charge back costs to different business units, and maintain license compliance across the organization, among other things.

On the hardware side, there are many benefits to having good processes in place to track and manage physical IT assets throughout their lifecycle. But hardware asset management (HAM) is also critically important to managing your software. Many organizations have processes and tools in place to keep track of their hardware assets. The important thing is to make sure that the necessary hardware asset data is also available to the software asset management (SAM) and license optimization process. This will allow the organization to maintain license compliance and reduce ongoing costs for both desktop and datacenter enterprise software.

What is Hardware Asset Management?

Hardware asset management (HAM) is the process of tracking and managing physical computers, network equipment and other hardware devices, throughout the asset lifecycle—from acquisition to retirement. The goals of hardware asset management are to track and manage all hardware assets in the IT infrastructure to provide comprehensive visibility and control. HAM also helps with vendor contract and lease management, provides data for property tax payments, and is used in making budgetary forecasts based on the stock of assets and business requirements.

Hardware Asset Management is part of IT Asset Management (ITAM), which also includes Software Asset Management (SAM). SAM has evolved into a new generation of tools, called Software License Optimization solutions that go well beyond traditional SAM tools to incorporate capabilities for managing many complex license models and license entitlements known as “product use rights,” among other new capabilities. It’s no longer enough to simply count the number of licenses purchased compared to the number of software installations in the IT environment to understand the organization’s software license position for a given vendor. Software License Optimization tools are required to meet the challenges of modern software license models, agreements, entitlements and delivery mechanisms, including Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS).