Businesses may struggle with where Software as a Service (“SaaS) belongs when it comes to Software Asset Management (“SAM”). One may assert that SaaS is a service by name and has no place in the asset management lifecycle because it’s merely a service and not an asset to be managed. Here’s why companies should include SaaS in their SAM reviews.

Access Rights are Similar to Right-to-Use Licenses

SaaS usage is generally managed by the provider via login credentials. The customers’ rights to use the software are often governed by a Right to Use License.  In many cases, the users are authorized for the different access to the SaaS product. Including SaaS in a SAM review will help to ensure that the users have the proper access.  Also, when employees change job functions internally or terminate from the company, the employee’s credentials need to be redistributed to other users or held in reserve for future users, if allowed by the Right to Use License.

Volume can Mean Money

Some SaaS is billed based upon usage or transactions. Using SAM protocols to track usage or transaction counts can assist the procurement department by identifying invoices that include an incorrect number of users or transactions. 

Security is Always Important

SAM can add another layer of security for managing login credentials Aside from the financial benefits of allocating access to the users who need access or managing the usage of such access to control costs, security can also be enhanced when applying SAM to SaaS by allowing business to report on who has access and at what level. Employees who leave the company may be leaving with important access credentials allowing them to access customer information including personally identifiable information that may require certain protections under the law.

When considering implementing a SaaS or Software Asset Management solution, it may be useful to consult with an attorney experienced with dealing with such matters to help ensure that the risks associated with managing such solutions are appropriately mitigated.