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Software Asset Management & Open Source Software: Enabling Digital Transformation

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Businesses and IT functions are faced with a plethora of challenges every day.  Customers demand more from the business they buy from, and so they need to constantly be evolving and staying ahead of their competition through technology.  The reality is that most organizations are the same below the water line.  They all have data centres, storage, networking, cloud of some kind – public, private, hybrid – but what differentiates one business from its next nearest competitor, is how they are taking their digital transformation strategy to market – and that is where the use of Open Source is what differentiate one business from its competition.

Smaller budgets with greater demand on resources like the Internet of Things and Cloud; Containers, Everything as a Service – the complexities are compounding daily.  Amongst all this, the need for reporting, management, cost savings, risk mitigation, security, governance, optimization, and innovation.  But none of these can exist without Software Asset Management practices to underpin the technology.  Without Software Asset Management (SAM), technology innovation and agility introduce explosions of risks and costs.

SAM as a practice has been around for more than 25 years.  In regions like Europe, it’s very mature and in places like the Asia Pacific and North or South America, it’s growing in momentum, but it’s also constantly changing.  Software Asset Management is built on a set of service framework components known as Policy, Process, People, Data and Technology; these are collectively known as a SAM Service.  These services support and deliver the business objectives through reporting, management, and analysis.   But just like other practices, there needs to be SAM Objectives – usually focused on Risk, Cost, and Optimization.  This is where things change and evolve.

The old focus of SAM has always been on Cost and Risk.  Reduce the cost of current license and subscription, including maintenance requirements, and make sure that we know what our compliance risk is, should any of the vendors ever come knocking.  Now though, more organizations are moving towards a business objective of optimization in order to support the innovations and changes we discussed earlier – IOT, EAAS, rapid application development and deployment… all of these are reliant upon a SAM service practice to maintain controls and enable optimization.

SAM can now be an enabler to other areas of practice like DevOps through the application of controls to ensure that shadow IT doesn’t overtake the value of using agile cloud-based tools and systems.  Or in Security, to identify the support, version, edition, and patch level of assets in real time to ensure that they conform to standards and governance requirements.  Or in the area of cloud transformation and containers by having a complete view of the entire distributed environment regardless of platform, vendor, hosting service provider, etc.  And finally in the area of data risk – being able to understand the relationship between applications, middleware, data sources, servers, networks to be able to identify quickly and manage data sprawl and risks.

By applying your SAM Service, to new areas in Open Source Software, you can gain greater value than just managing cost and risk, and use the capabilities to enable the business digital transformation journey, and maintain competitive advantage, no matter what the world of technology throws at you next.