The Mythical SAM Easy Button

I continue to hear stories of organizations who are in search of a SAM easy button.  Unfortunately this mythical easy button does not exist.  Below is a formula you will often see in the SAM practitioner community.  There is no shortage of SAM tool vendors who will make promises of grandeur, but it is not until after the sale customers realize they still lack control of their software assets because they lack the critical elements in the below formula.  I am a strong supporter of SAM technology, but not when the organization wishes to rebalance the below formula where the majority of the weight is placed on technology.

Effective SAM = (70% People + Process) + 30% Tools

On Saturday July 6th, 2013 Asiana Airlines Flight 214, a Boeing 777, crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).  The pilots were well trained but it appears they relied too heavily on technology.  In fact their autothrottle was disabled, yet they thought it was working and automatically controlling the engines.  They did not realize they had a serious problem until it was too late.

Fortunately SAM is not a life threatening activity like flying an aircraft, but too heavy a reliance on technology can yield negative results and create compliance issues.  I once heard a SAM Manager explain he expects his team to completely understand the underlying data and be able to confirm if the SAM tool they use is yielding the correct results through small samples.  I 100% agree with this approach.

I would also say to any organization who has an existing SAM tool they are not achieving the desired results from, consider the problem may be a lack of people and process not the technology.  Before making another purchase, carefully analyze the situation.