20 Sept 2023



Licence Management

How companies discover the advantages of used software through ITAM

IT asset management, or ITAM for short, refers to the continuous and comprehensive control and optimisation of a company's hardware, software and networks throughout their entire life cycle. This begins with the procurement or licensing of the required resources, continues with implementation and introduction, distribution and maintenance, and ends with their sale or decommissioning.

The greater the IT resources required by a company, the more indispensable professional IT asset management becomes for the functionality of business processes and thus for securing competitiveness. It is crucial that the use of all resources is as secure and efficient as possible in order to minimise risks, avoid overcapacity and not unnecessarily burden the total cost of ownership.

In this article we explain why IT asset management is more than just the inventory of existing assets, we delve into the most important levers for success and show why more and more companies are integrating used software into their asset management environment.

What are the categories within IT asset management?

ITAM is more than listing and managing IT resources. In particular, large and multi-site companies benefit from an overarching management that brings together the individual categories and provides an overall view to control and optimise the IT landscape.

Hardware asset management

No major company can manage without active management of IT hardware such as stationary and mobile end devices, routers, servers, workstations and all forms of physical accessories. In addition to high procurement costs, including the tenders usually associated with them, sustainability aspects for extending usage cycles, reducing CO2 emissions and promoting a resource-conserving circular economy are also playing anincreasingly important role. 

Software Asset Management 

Software applications are now available anytime and anywhere - on the one hand, this is extremely convenient and offers quick solutions, but on the other hand, it is seldom demand-driven and thus usually expensive. In addition, there are numerous legal requirements to be observed in software licensing. Without professional SAM, software inventories and licence agreements can no longer be kept a track of. Over- and under-licensing, problems or even fines after manufacturer audits, high internal support volumes, increased training needs, compliance violations - the list of risk factors is long and minimising them is crucial for successful business operations.

Cloud asset management

Cloud software offers numerous advantages. It is no coincidence that the number of providers and services has now reached unmanageable dimensions and is increasing at a rapid pace in the wake of new developments in the areas of AI, Internet of Things, Next Generation User Interfaces, Quantum Computing or Real-Time Situational Awareness. In order to recognise cloud sprawl at an early stage and minimise the associated risks,professional cloud cost management in particular is indispensable.

Fixed Asset Management

Here, everything revolves around the procurement, management and site-related use of fixed equipment in the IT environment, such as computer desks, printers, network cabinets or server room air conditioning units and their accessories. The challenges lie primarily in the cost-effective purchase of quality products, the avoidance of double or multiple orders and the efficient organisation of maintenance and service contracts.

What levers for success does IT asset management offer?

ITAM offers IT managers numerous opportunities to convey the advantages of professional asset management within the company and especially at C-level, as well as to make their importance for the company's success clear. The four following success levers are particularly in focus:

1. All the information in one place

The selection and introduction of a suitable ITAM tool bundles all decision-relevant information on the asset inventory and its use in one place. Locations, supplier contacts, contract details, licence keys, costs, users and authorisations, support and a multitude of other details not only enable effective management of the existing assets, but also systematic management with the goals of control and optimisation.

2. Increase efficiency and reduction in costs

Duplicate and multiple orders, short usage cycles, expensive over-licensing or re-licensing, idle assets, high internal training or support costs - the list of often silent cost drivers in many companies is large. However, the associated savings potential is just as large. Professional IT asset management makes these potentials visible and opens the view for needs-based and more cost-effective ways of working, forms of procurement or licensing models.

3. Increase security and compliance

Compliance with legal or industry-specific requirements and procedures should ideally be a matter of course. However, criminal energy, high pressure to find solutions, lack of knowledge or lack of awareness of possible consequences, for example in the case of theft, data loss or licence violations, repeatedly stand in the way of this principle. Professional IT asset management can identify security and compliance risks at an early stage through the early provision of important information and regular internal audits and thus effectively minimise them.

4. Increase sustainability   

Particularly in the course of the expansion of EU-wide CSR disclosure requirements, the sustainability factor is taking on a completely new dimension in large and medium-sized companies. Professional IT asset management not only makes the efficiency potential within the entire company visible, but also creates the prerequisite for sustainable lifecycle management.

Good to know: ISO standards for IT asset management

IT managers who want to establish and implement comprehensive IT asset management within their company can use the standards of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) as a guide. The ISO-19770 family of standards offers a set of rules with 5 individual parts for different ITAM fields.


Analysis and management of the entire life cycle of the various assets

IT asset lifecycle management of individual asset categories is a continuously recurring process that takes into account different phases in a systematic time sequence:

More efficiency, sustainability and security with IT asset management

ITAM example: Lifecycle management for software assets

In the planning phase, the required demand for company divisions, departments or teams is determined on the basis of defined parameters and the maximum budget for a software development or the procurement of required software licences is set. It is then possible, for example, to analyse with workplace precision where a cloud-based software solution is required and where significantly cheaper alternatives, such as used software licences, are perfectly adequate.

This can have direct consequences for the integration as well as the support, which is given within the respective terms for used licences as well as for the respective new version.

If the software is no longer needed in an area of the company, it is checked whether the licences can either be used within the company and thus new licensing can be avoided. Alternatively, in the case of on-premise software, there is the option of selling it to reputable providers of used software, such as PREO, and remonetising part of the previous licence costs at the end. The additional income generated can then be used for planning new investments and thus relieve the existing IT budget. And beyond that, not to be forgotten, secondary recycling makes a sustainable contribution to an active circular economy.

The PREO licence experts will be happy to advise you personally on the integration of used software into your existing IT infrastructure and provide you with a needs-based and non-binding offer including your possible savings potential.

ITAM and used software - more efficiency, sustainability and security

We are one of the pioneers in the European trade with used software licences and market leader in Germany. We offer companies, organisations and public administrations a large selection of used volume licences at any time, which can be integrated into the existing software asset management in an audit-proof manner. This is how you secure all the advantages:

  • Efficiency benefits through high savings in ongoing licence costs of up to 70 percent compared to the respective new version.  

  • Sustainability benefits through entry into a resource-saving circular economy including extension of software and hardware cycles including the associated reduction of CO2 emissions - keyword Green IT.   

  • Compliance advantages through 100 percent legally and audit-proof licence acquisition with maximum transparency in all processing steps including complete documentation in the PREO licence portal "Easy Compliance".

  • Competence advantages through many years of expertise in the integration of used software licences in classic network structures or hybrid licensing models.

  • Capacity advantages through established software licence management in large IT infrastructure projects with thousands of workstations and transnational locations.

  • Reference advantages through the audit-proof transfer of over one million used software licences for numerous well-known companies from a wide range of industries.