6 Best Software Asset Management Tools of 2023
Managing assets in any organization can be daunting. This is especially true for software assets.
Technologies can change in the blink of an eye, multiple stakeholders are typically involved, and license agreements can be extremely complex.
The biggest challenge is the overwhelming costs involved. Software licensing and maintenance make up roughly 22% of business IT budgets, on average, according to Deloitte.
While there's no silver bullet to solve all of your software asset management challenges, implementing the right software asset management tool is one of the best ways to make it easier.
In this article, you'll learn about the best software asset management platforms to reduce your software and licensing spend, increase operational efficiency, and maintain long-term control over your software assets and profitability.
What is a software asset management tool?
Let's start from the beginning before we dig into the different tools. What is software asset management (SAM)?
SAM is the management and optimization of software within an organization. It includes purchasing, deploying, maintaining, optimizing, and disposing of software within a business.
Software asset management is one branch of the IT asset management (ITAM) umbrella. The other branch of IT asset management involves physical asset management, specifically when it comes to hardware (i.e., computers, servers, laptops, printers, routers, etc.).
Software asset management tools are platforms you can use to manage your software assets. They typically include several benefits:
- Transform complex software costs into easy-to-understand data
- Maintain license compliance
- Help businesses be audit-ready at all times
- License and contract management (planning, renewal, removal)
- Accurate software usage data to help in decision-making
- Insights into current and future trends in software usage
- Software license optimization
By leveraging the power of real-time software data and advanced analytics, software asset management tools allow IT departments and business leaders to make informed decisions to manage resources and drive profitability.
Considerations when choosing a software asset management tool
Before you invest in a software asset management tool for your business, here are a few important features you should consider:
Software licensing management
This is arguably the most important aspect of any tool worth considering. The platform’s ability to effectively and efficiently track and manage your software licenses is what will set it apart from the rest. If a tool falls short in this category, it really isn't worth considering. Every tool on this list has powerful license management features so you can keep a close watch on your software assets.
Next up, it’s crucial that your software is easy to use. Even if a tool has a wide variety of features, it won’t do you much good if you aren’t sure how to use them properly. That’s where usability comes in. Any software asset management tool worth considering should have a relatively easy-to-use interface. The dashboard should be simple and easy to navigate. Accessing your different software assets quickly is important.
Another important factor when looking at different software asset management platforms is the ability to integrate with other tools. Even if you have the best tool that’s easy to use, it can end up being more of a problem than a solution if it doesn’t fit into your current workflow. The reality is that you and your team likely use a dozen different tools on the job. If it’s difficult to move between the tools, it will cost you plenty of time during the day, reducing your productivity.
Company size and infrastructure
One not-so-obvious consideration to consider is the size of the company and infrastructure. You need to consider two things: Is the company's infrastructure robust enough to handle the data of thousands of different users? And is the company small enough to onboard you and give you the service you need? Too small of a company, and the infrastructure might not be adequate. Too big of a company, and it may lack in terms of support.
The cost of business software, especially at the enterprise level, can be extremely expensive. It can eat away at profit margins if not closely monitored. The top software asset management initiative among respondents from a recent survey is to optimize and save on software spend.
The average price for software asset management platforms ranges. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$100 per month per user on average, with lower-end tools charging less than $50 and more expensive platforms charging hundreds per month at custom pricing.
Overview of the 6 best software asset management tools
Software asset management is a crucial part of any business. It helps IT departments keep track of their software resources to maximize their efficiencies, keep costs down, and maximize profitability.
Here are the best software asset management tools on the market.
RedBeam is reliable, user-friendly software designed to help businesses track and manage their physical assets as well as software licenses and installations.
RedBeam offers clear visibility of software through asset tracking and streamlined audits to help you gain insight into your company’s different assets.
To track software assets using RedBeam Asset Tracking, you simply create an asset record for each software installation or license. The platform lets you include data like the software title, vendor, version, license key, and purchase date. You can also mark down the software’s location or user and track its usage history.
RedBeam Asset Tracking allows you to run reports on all your software assets by location or user. For instance, if you want to see every asset a specific employee has or you want to see what assets are located at your headquarters, you can get a simple summary. RedBeam's software asset management can help you stay compliant with software licenses, track usage, and prevent overbuying licenses.
Using RedBeam Asset Tracking to track software can help organizations maintain compliance, optimize their software asset management processes, and improve their bottom line.
- Easily track license expirations or low license counts
- Barcode scanning for easy tracking, and
- Integration with other software systems like Microsoft Active Directory
- Mobile app to track assets on the go
- Rest API for easy access to Web services API
- Data security to protect your sensitive information
- Asset tagging for error reduction and increased data accuracy
- Web-based asset management
- User-friendly interface
- Access asset tracking system from anywhere
- Includes physical asset management
- Great asset data history
- API for easy integration into your workflow
- Doesn’t have autodiscovery to find assets by IP addresses
Pricing: From $82.91/user/month (1-year term, paid annually)
For over 30 years, Flexera has been one of the leading software asset management tools on the market. Best-suited for enterprise organizations, this tool helps large businesses organize and manage software between desktops, data centers, and the cloud.
With over 30 million servers under their management belt, Flexera offers an impressive tool that helps to manage software licenses, vendor relationships, and contracts to optimize business productivity and return on investment (ROI).
- Automatic insights into costs and risks of all installed software
- Integrates with inventory solutions like Microsoft, IBM, ServiceNow, and BMC
- 'What-if' analysis capability to let users see how changes to your software or hardware may impact future licensing requirements
- Flexera One’s large entitlement library automates effective license positions (ELP)
- Flexible and customizable tool
- Best-in-class consultation and training
- Accurate data compared to other tools
- Keeps software license compliance up to date automatically
- Steep learning curve
- Limited customization with email notifications
- Not the greatest customer support
- Dashboard isn’t customizable out of the box
Pricing: Flexera offers a free demo and custom pricing
Alloy software asset management allows organizations and businesses to maintain license compliance, improve software spend, and ensure different software is ready for an audit.
Alloy IT asset management software enables small, medium, and large organizations to keep track of their software assets in a central location.
- Scan and gain information about different software inventory
- Automatic detection of unapproved software
- Mitigation of shadow IT risks
- Can be integrated to sync with Active Directory
- Optimizes software licenses
- Manages software subscriptions and renewals
- IT tickets and requests
- Great customer support
- Highly customizable
- User-friendly interface
- Setup is a bit complicated
- Customization requires some technical skills
Pricing: From$49/user/month (billed annually)
Ivanti, or Ivanti Neurons for IAM, is best known for its software asset management features. The software centralizes all your software and hardware asset data into a single place, simplifying your asset management's tracking, optimization, and configuration.
Thanks to its highly customizable design, Ivanti stands out from the other software asset management tools. The platform allows you to customize the platform to suit your preferred workflows. The software will enable you to integrate your asset management into your existing IT tool stack to meet your company's unique needs.
- Lifecycle tracking includes invoicing, receipts, and disposal
- IT spending reporting, including cost and contract visibility
- Asset repository to track lifecycle status, location, stock, and warranty
- Product catalog to track purchased assets and active orders
- Impressive customization options
- Available on both desktop and mobile
- Great software licensing management
- Customer support can be a bit slow
- Dashboard can’t be customized out of the box
Pricing: Ivanti offers a free trial and custom pricing
AWS License Manager helps you manage software licenses from vendors like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and IBM. The platform lets you track your software on-premise or across AWS.
Amazon Web Services License Manager enables CTOs, tech leaders, and administrators to curate customized licensing rules to match the licensing agreements of different vendors. This unique feature allows businesses to prevent licensing violations, avoiding costly expenses and headaches.
- Allows full control and visibility of all software licenses
- Helps avoid non-compliance and misreporting
- Reduces unexpected fees and extra costs due to licensing overages.
- Rule setup helps prevent licensing breaches with notifications
- Reliable software on a trusted platform
- The interface loads fast
- You can manage licenses in the cloud or on-site
- Difficult initial setup
- The platform can be difficult to learn
Pricing: AWS License Manager offers a free trial and custom pricing
Pulseway IT asset management is an intuitive tool that offers businesses the ability to customize their asset management operations. With a robust feature set and interface that’s easy to use, it’s a great tool for any business looking to improve productivity and reduce asset costs.
Used by over 10,000 businesses worldwide, Pulseway lets you easily monitor your assets from various platforms like Mac, Windows, Linux, and more. Plus, you can access the tool through different platforms, making it incredibly accessible no matter what technology your team uses.
- Advanced automation functions
- Remote monitoring of software assets and IT systems from any device
- Critical IT event notifications
- Automatic patch management
- Simple integration capabilities
- Easily accessible from any tech, any device, any location
- Gives warnings of system or hardware failures
- Reporting isn’t very customizable
- Notifications can be delayed
Pricing: From $22/month (flat-rate)
Want more asset management resources?
A major part of running a profitable business relies on your ability to manage your assets. In this article, we covered the importance of managing your software assets and licenses and touched on the best tools available today.
While it's important to manage your digital assets well, it’s just as crucial for you to manage your physical assets like machinery, computers, and buildings since mismanaging these can result in cash flow issues, reduced profits, and other management complications.
If you want to learn more about how you can better manage your physical assets, remember to check out these top blog posts from RedBeam:
- The Importance of Asset Management for Small Businesses
- The Ultimate Guide to Fixed Assets
- 4 Benefits of Fixed Asset Management Software
For more resources on improving your business’ asset management, visit the full RedBeam blog today.