How to Implement SAM

Software Asset Management

Software Asset Management (SAM) is the practice of managing the lifecycle of software assets within an organization. It is a set of managed processes and functional capabilities to manage software assets throughout the five stages of their lifecycle (planning, requisition, deployment, maintenance, and retirement). The two significant benefits realized by organizations of any size of a SAM program are cost control and risk reduction.

  • Step One: Develop Policies and Procedures
  • Step Two: Audit Installed Software
  • Step Three: Determine What is Authorized or Unauthorized
  • Step Four: Establish A Routine Audit Process

Download the Software Management Guide for further detail related to effective SAM strategies for small, medium and large businesses.


Enterprise Workplace Compliance

Software asset management for large businesses is frequently executed in partnership between the IT department, Finance department, certified software asset management professions and special software asset management firms and/or software resellers. These individuals and companies provide specialized knowledge and tools to apply best practices across the enterprise in an efficient manner. 

BSA provides access to several free software audit tools from a sampling of these companies and a directory of certified SAM professionals. BSA also provides the Verafirm Certified solution to confirm enterprise scale software asset inventories and practices to indemnify your organization from prosecution of unlicensed software use.

Read more about launching your enterprise scale SAM solution.

Small Business Workplace Compliance

Software asset management for a small business can frequently be executed without specialty IT resources. Start by reading the Software Management Guide. Then use the tools and worksheets available from BSA to being your own SAM program.  Once inventory is complete, use the Verafirm Registry to record and track your software assets.


The Verafirm Registry is an industry-supported portal that helps companies effectively manage their software, efficiently document that their software is licensed and connect with customers interested in doing business with ethical companies. It is the first and only registry of its kind. By utilizing the Verafirm Registry, companies can:

  • Effectively manage their software licenses and installed user base.
  • Efficiently document that their software is licensed.
  • Connect with customers interested in doing business with ethical companies.

By self-declaring software licenses via Verafirm, a business takes an important first step in demonstrating that it is transparent, well-run, and respects intellectual property. As a company steps up its compliance, from Verafirm-Registered, to Verafirm-Verified, to Verafirm-Certified, businesses will receive special designation on Verafirm, demonstrating to subscribers that they not only value software compliance, but have taken concrete steps to ensure and document your compliance. To better understand the benefits of Verafirm, please visit our FAQ page .

Government Software Asset Management

Since governments implement laws on behalf of those they govern, elected officials have a responsibility to demonstrate the importance of adhering to laws regarding the use of software. Governments require a variety of specialized SAM best practices that differ from those in other organizations.  Download this resource for information and helpful tips on how governments can manage their own software assets and achieve license compliance.


SAM Advantage, also known as Verafirm Professional, is the first industry software asset management (SAM) course aligned to the ISO/IEC 19770-1 SAM standard. Based on a tiered approach, users will learn how to:

  • Build a best practice standards-based SAM program.
  • Proactively and effectively manage their software assets.
  • Increase IT efficiencies and control costs.
  • Identify and reduce IT risks.
  • Become a Certified Professional in SAM.

SAM Advantage provides the knowledge necessary to successfully implement best practice SAM in any organization, reduce risk and increase overall IT benefits. The information learned from this online course extends from the individual IT practitioner interested in SAM, to the SAM adopting organization and the partner or reseller wishing to extend their knowledge into a value-added benefit for their own customers.

The Risks of Unauthorized Software Use

Unlicensed software can have costly consequences for businesses of any size.

Unlicensed software is more likely to fail as a result of inability to update, or more prone to contain malware, rendering computers and the information on the computer useless. Expect no warranties or support for unlicensed software, leaving a company on its own to deal with failures.

The legal consequences of unauthorized software usage include stiff civil penalties and the risk of criminal prosecution. Software pirates increase costs to users of legitimate, authorized software and decrease the capital available to invest in research and development of new software.

10 Reasons Why It’s Important to be a Responsible Software User

10. Copying software undermines policies against taking company property.

9. Proper software management saves time and money, makes computer users more productive and organizations more competitive.

8. Unlicensed software is one of the top sources of computer viruses. These viruses can destroy valuable data, create privacy concerns and open up networks to unauthorized third parties.

7. Unlicensed software is more likely to fail, leaving computers and their information useless.

6. Expect no warranties or support for unlicensed software; and no access to upgrades.

5. The cost of unlicensed software settlements usually far outweighs the cost incurred by a company using legitimate software.

4. In some circumstances, unlicensed software leaves an organization vulnerable to raids and seizures of evidence, including computers, disk drives, and other equipment after pirating software.

3. BSA receives over 2,000 unlicensed software tips each year – just in the US alone. 

2. Unlicensed software can lead to fines of up to $150,000 per copyright infringed and civil and criminal prosecutions.

And the number one reason to ensure that the software being used is compliant with U.S. Software Copyright Laws?

Unlicensed Software Is Theft!