As part of this month’s SAMPanel debate, we are very happy to welcome back to the SAMPanel May Turnbull, SAM Consultant with EasySAM, who we asked, ‘What will be the impact of Cloud migration on SAM?’
Below was her response
Firstly, we need to acknowledge that the word ‘cloud’ is such a loose term. It covers everything from web-based offerings to hosted services at the moment. Obviously depending on what flavour of the ‘cloud’ you are migrating to, will depend on what impact this has on your companies Software Asset Management (SAM). To make it simpler, we have broken it down into the below questions for you:
What effect does subscription licensing have?
With cloud offerings being principally subscription based, this does introduce a level of license management that the average SAM manager won’t be accustomed to. One of the benefits of subscription licensing (outside of cost) is the ability to only pay for software that you are using. This means an increased vigilance is required. Let’s face it, few companies have a SAM program mature enough to be monitoring software usage at this level. So with your company moving to a cloud model, be very careful that you don’t end up renewing subscriptions that you don’t need.
What does this mean for SAM technology?
Discovery and SAM tools are going to have to evolve. It is imperative that cloud-based applications, suites and access can be accurately identified and that license management/SAM tools are able to manage these at a user level. As although user-based licensing has been around for a while, the device-based metric has dominated this space of late years and the technology has naturally catered for this.
What are the challenges of user based software?
The challenges are the same as they have always been, however the spotlight is certainly on them now. With user-based licensing metrics, there is a convenience of being able to use the license to potentially cover multiple devices. However, it is then important that only the licensed user is accessing the software installed on a particular device. Similarly policy needs to be put in place around authority to install, users with access could quite easily abuse these rights outside of the work place, potentially being able to download applications for relatives or friends.
In a nutshell, the ‘cloud’ doesn’t alleviate the need for SAM at all. Cloud-based software subscriptions remain assets that will require monitoring and management. Even hosted services with very little licensing risk to the company will require frequent review. And with perpetual onsite software remaining a constant, SAM managers are just going to have to embrace the diversity that Software Asset Management now involves!
About The Author
May Turnbull is a SAMConsultant with EasySAM. EasySAM is a specialist software and hardware asset management consultancy. With a combined audit & compliance experience in excess of 60 years, the EasySAM team has successfully delivered over 400 customer engagements, currently manage software compliance for 60 customers (with an average estate size of 1,410 devices) and have provided measured cost savings exceeding £31m to our customers. Our main strengths in this competitive market are our vendor independence and our focus solely on SAM as opposed to licensing