How to Manage Cloud Licensing?!

Cloud & Services Home IT Asset Management

by | February 23, 2023

How to manage Cloud, Webapps, SaaS?!

Cloud is driving digitalization, COVID has forced us up into the Cloud in a faster phase than expected. Cloud is now one of the biggest challenges right now.

Similarities and differences between Onprem and BOX licensing

All Software Asset Management needs discovery. There are several ways to discover web apps (SaaS), URLs, API, SSO, connectors to portals, and Billing history. They have different values and shortcomings. For all SAM optimization you need 4 things:

Discovery -normalization of the application, where is it installed or used? Is it requiring a license?
License – Purchase information, are we paying for this software? How much? Are we compliant?
Usage – Is this application being used? How much? By whom and when?
Cost – How much does this cost? Is the cost equal to the consumption of the application?

· URL – With URL discovery you will get very accurate discovery and also usage, great for discovering shadow it. Shortcoming is that for some applications you can’t see the difference between the free version and the license-required web app.

· API – Decent but not as good discovery as URL, will still have a value to detect shadow it. Shortcomings no active usage, can’t determine free from license required web apps.

· SSO – Very accurate discovery of all centralized web apps. Shortcomings no discovery of Shadow IT, No usage = No optimization.

· Connectors – Connectors to SaaS portals will give license information and some usage sometimes. Shortcomings no discovery of Shadow IT, limited usage information sometimes no usage.

· Billing History – Good source for the inventory of Cloud spend and potential Shadow it. Unable to optimize since no usage, also how will you optimize license suits with just a bill?

Shadow IT

Shadow IT is everything acquired/used without IT’s involvement. Earlier this was also a problem when people could purchase box licenses. That moved away when everything become an internet transaction. Now we got Shadow IT instead when employees are using company credit cards or using the travel bill and using web apps/SaaS applications. Shadow IT needs Discovery same way as

Active usage is the way to cost savings

With on-prem applications, you can easily remove all installed apps never been used. But with SaaS applications there is nothing installed, so active usage becomes much more important. The most common scenario for SaaS applications is a subscription and named user license metric. This means you need real usage data to do optimizations and cost savings. With Active Usage you can see how much each user has used the application, per minute, per month. And then optimize the license based on real usage data.

How to reduce spending?

– Remove inactive/terminated users
– Downgrade from enterprise to standard or free
– Buy a single app instead of suite based on real usage
– Consolidate, single licenses into one agreement
– Negotiate enterprise agreement and discounts
– The same functions spread over multiple solutions/licenses

Recommendation – Stay away from commitment before you know you really need the service. More supervision and quicker/more changes. You don’t wait a year or 3 years to change the license or remove licenses. You need to do this on a monthly basis.



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