CA IT Asset Manager Review

Helps keep us in compliance and not run into vulnerabilities with unsupported software


What is our primary use case?

We track software purchases against what's actually installed in our environments to make sure that we're in compliance.

It preforms very well.

How has it helped my organization?

It's the ability to make sure that the software that you have installed in your environment is software that you're licensed to have installed. 

Also, the software you have, you can monitor for end of life. If you have software that is end of life, then you can have it uninstalled and buy the new software, so you can make sure that you're not running into vulnerabilities with unsupported software in your environment.

You could also look for software that is no longer being used and you can re-deploy the software, so then you save from a purchasing standpoint because you don't have to buy the software again.

Previously, we had a process that was manual and it was impossible to do manually. We tried and it did not work. With the CA Asset Management tool, we have the ability to very quickly find our software compliance. Of course that is after you get the program set up. So now, as an ongoing process, we know exactly where we stand with software and the opportunities that we have in our environment.

What is most valuable?

It's the ability to take software that's installed in our entire environment, and normalize the data, and then compare the information to what's in our catalog or software titles that we have built, based on how we purchase the software. In addition, the ability to make sure that we are in compliance. If you're out of compliance, it can cost millions of dollars in a software audit.

What needs improvement?

Keeping the catalog updated and having more titles in the catalog is helpful, because the more items that are in the catalog, your process goes faster because you don't have to manually build all the entitlements.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

CA does a really good job with keeping up with the changes that the vendor makes, and their software entitlements. 

So it is important to make sure that we also keep our software upgraded, because they're continually making changes to the program, and they've actually also made it really easy to upgrade. It's a process that takes anywhere from 40 to 60 hours for the upgrades, and we can make sure that we keep our environment up to date along with all the changes that they're making, so that they stay valid with the current industry.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have the ability to track all of our software. If it's software that can be discovered, of course if it's in the catalog, it does an automatic reconcilement. If it's not in the catalog then we can build the SKUs. We can also make changes, even if it's in the catalog; maybe it's something that we purchase differently. We can update that entitlement to make sure that it's matching what's in our environment. If it's software that cannot be discovered, then we can manually enter the software with our licenses. So it can encompass our entire environment.

And it seems, like with the other software, they're staying up to date as vendors make changes to how they want to manage the software. CA is usually really quick about getting those updates in the system.

How is customer service and technical support?

They are helpful. And if there are issues that cannot be resolved with like first-level support, then we always have people at CA that we can engage. They will make sure that the problem gets fixed, or we get our questions answered. They can be questions about anything, or any problem that we have, and they make sure that it gets resolved.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We tried to manage the software with a manual process. It's just too time consuming, and it's very difficult because software is complex. This is especially true if you bundle software, or because of the different ways that the manufacturer will supply the software. If you try to do that manually it takes a lot of time and after you spend all the time, as soon as you're finished, you actually have to start over because your software, your environment, is continually changing. So that makes it difficult if you're trying to manually keep up with the software. 

Having the tool, you build the items one time and then you have your discovery that's coming in and the system will let you know whether or not you're out of compliance. And as you introduce new software into your environment, you can make sure that you get it built in the system correctly and it's a one-time, instead of continually over and over and over, every time you want to look at the title.

How was the initial setup?

The tool itself, just installing the tool is pretty simple. The part that's more complex is the discovery side, how you're discovering the data that you pull in to the system. Also all your entitlements, and the things that you purchased, it's gathering all that data and pulling it into the system. It's more around the processes that are complex, and not the actual software itself.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at the HPE tool, and the CA tool whenever we were selecting a product.

We actually chose CA based on previous experience with using their software, and the team that supported that other software. We like how they come together and support their products.

What other advice do I have?

What's most important when selecting a vendor is making sure that you find someone who will be a partner, and not just a vendor. You want to know that they are there after the sale, and that they want to make sure that you're successful, and not just selling the software. 

Also, their roadmap. What are they looking at? How engaged are they in the product? You don't want to buy something today that's going to be end of life five years from now, because anytime you buy software, it's an investment. You have the software expense, and then you also have the Professional Services hours to have the software installed, so you want software that's going to be around for a long time.

Don't wait. Don't put it off, because software is growing. The amount of software that's used in companies is growing, the complexity of software compliance is growing, the number of software audits is picking up. The longer that you wait, the more software you're going to have in your environment, the more that you're purchasing, the more stuff you're going to have to track down. Just go ahead and start the process and start working on making it better.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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