Anything created by a human being is far from perfect – and that’s never been truer than it is when it comes to the technology our businesses rely on. IT assets occasionally break down and issues will occasionally impact the software and applications we use on a daily basis. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also a fact.
In order to protect your business and investment, it is critical to purchase support contracts for your hardware and Software Assurance for your applications. For this article, let’s focus on Software Assurance.
If Software Assurance is a term you’re not currently familiar with, it’s one you’re absolutely going to want to spend time learning about moving forward.
What is Software Assurance?
Software Assurance, as the name implies, is a term describing “the level of confidence that you can expect indicating that a piece of software is free from vulnerabilities.” Note that these vulnerabilities can be those that are either intentionally designed into the software (we’ve all heard the frustrating old phrase “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”), or those that are inherent in the code or accidentally inserted at some point during the software’s lifecycle.
In other words, there’s a chance that a critical application or some other piece of software will function in a way that was not. Your enterprise invests in a program that you plan on using for five years that offers X, Y and Z features, and Software Assurance gives you the peace-of-mind that only comes with knowing those features will be present – free from compromise or other issues – for the duration of your utilization.
That’s not to say that if you DON’T invest in Software Assurance you’ll immediately be cut off from patches and bug fixes. In most cases, you won’t. It’s just that with the vast majority of these situations, Software Assurance gives you access to a superior level of care and product support that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Why Software Assurance Matters
Although the actual mechanics of Software Assurance will usually vary a bit depending on the publisher, all such plans bring with them a number of unique benefits for businesses like yours.
Microsoft defines their own Software Assurance offering as one that includes “a unique set of technologies, services and rights to help you deploy, manage and use your Microsoft products more efficiently.”
When you invest in Microsoft’s Software Assurance by way of an open license for between 5 and 250 users, for example, you automatically get access to new version rights – meaning that if a new version becomes available with new features, bug fixes or security patches that you don’t have, you instantly get access to those enhancements. In terms of training, you get access to things like vouchers to help your employees use that software more effectively, along with the added benefit of the Microsoft Home Use Program.
In regard to support, Microsoft’s Software Assurance comes with full disaster recovery rights for your servers and 24/7/365 problem resolution support. The latter plays directly into the heart of what Software Assurance is supposed to do in the first place – in the unfortunate event that an issue does arise with a critical app, you’ll always have someone with technical expertise to resolve the issue as soon as practicable.
Again – the actual, logistical benefits of Software Assurance will vary depending on the publisher and not everyone’s offering is necessarily as robust as a company like Microsoft. But regardless of the specific features, the core goal remains the same – Software Assurance is supposed to keep you and your people running and moving forward.
The benefits of Software Assurance cannot be understated. According to one recent study, about half of all security threats that an enterprise is likely to face ultimately stems from design flaws in the programs you’re using on a regular basis. It isn’t necessarily that you’re facing an army of sophisticated hackers using state-of-the-art tools in an effort to infiltrate everything you’ve worked so hard to build. More often than not, a breach happens because there was a bug in a program that nobody recognized until it was too late – one that essentially handed over the keys to your virtual kingdom, so to speak.
Another major area where Software Assurance comes in handy has to do with just how integrated everything is these days. Rarely do programs – and the data within those programs – exist in a silo any longer. Indeed, most enterprises have spent years (not to mention a tremendous amount of money) making sure that everything is properly integrated throughout its networks. Customer relationship management tools feed data directly into enterprise resource planning systems, which export data to other critical areas of the business like accounting and on it goes.
All of this was done to facilitate seamless communication and collaboration on an enterprise-wide basis. But what happens if there’s a bug in that customer relationship management tool that allows someone who knows what they’re doing accesses the sensitive data hidden inside? Suddenly that CRM system becomes the “weak link in the chain” – the one that exposes the entirety of your business to someone who wants to do you harm.
These, ultimately, are among the many reasons why Software Assurance has become so popular at the enterprise level. That’s also why, if the option is available to you, it’s absolutely something you’ll want to strongly consider.
Outer Edge Technology: Your Partner in the Cloud, Your Partner in the Future
If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of software assurance, including why it may just be the right thing for your business, please don’t delay – call 1-844-OET-EDGE or email info@OuterEdge.biz now so that we can discuss things in more detail. You can also fill out the “Contact Us” form below if you’d like and one of our technical experts will schedule a mutually convenient time to discuss Software Assurance or any questions you may have regarding Managed Regulated Infrastructures or any other IT related topics or services.