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Businesses will embrace a common data platform this year to drive technology asset management

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Vincent Smyth, general manager & senior vice president EMEA for Flexera, offers his hopes and insights into what the year ahead holds for businesses as they take measures to maintain and secure their software and technology estates.

A common data platform will emerge

2018 will be the year companies embrace a common data platform that drives not only Software Asset Management, but Technology Asset Management to include IT Service Management, IT Security and other functional areas of the business.

A common data “language” will allow different functional areas of the business to share information and collaborate more effectively. This in turn will help executives make better business decisions on technology purchases, configurations, security, and so on.

Software Asset Management (SAM) and IT security will combine forces towards a common purpose

In 2018, SAM teams will work closely with IT Security teams to dramatically improve the security posture of the business. Rather than remain siloed, SAM teams will become a “partner in (security) compliance”, which will be facilitated by ready access to data such as End of Life or software vulnerability data as a result of the common data platform.

With data flowing bi-directionally between the SAM and Security teams — software asset data from the SAM team will allow the Security teams to know what they need to monitor for vulnerabilities, for instance.

Spend management of Cloud/SaaS will become a dominant issue

Spend management of Cloud/SaaS will become a dominant issue of SAM teams this year, overshadowing licence compliance, software audit risk and other traditional concerns. SAM teams will broaden their purview to encompass cloud infrastructure management and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription management – in addition to their traditional focus on on-premises software. New deployment technologies and models, including containers and hybrid clouds, will also become part of the challenge.

One can also expect big players to make major announcements around new licensing models to go along with these new technologies. What they are we don’t know at this stage, but having comprehensive data about on-premises and cloud deployments will help inoculate customers from the financial impact of new licence models.