The unpredictable nature of software purchasing poses challenges to organizations of every size. These challenges can lead to confusion over choosing the right Software asset management solutions that are available to them. This is the emerging scenario for 2018 as trends with supporting facts indicate a transition to a more IT efficient industry. The emphasis on SAM is increasing in order to optimize the return on investments made on software. Efforts will be directed towards a more centralized view that helps manage both licensed as well as unlicensed software.
Compliance with software asset is achieved through legal acquisition of a genuine copy of the software. This requires adequate licensing and usage as per the terms and conditions specified by the publisher of the software.
Aforementioned compliance adherence depends on the following factors:
- Implementing a strict acquisition procedure with prior approval. Also documenting and monitoring it.
- Assessment of consumption or usage.
- Compiling and analyzing these major data parameters to get a clear understanding of the level of compliance adherence.
Though proper SAM takes time and effort, the benefits from it more than justify the impediment. SAM is similar to maintaining corporate tax compliance with proper documentation and preparation of returns to avoid penalties. Effective Software Asset Management should follow the same approach in maintaining software compliance. Unfortunately, in most of the companies, SAM is not implemented strictly.
Some the reasons for this are:
Waiting for better tools – Often the reason cited for non-implementation of compliance is that the right tool is not yet available. This is true to an extent as there is no tool as yet which can do everything required, but 50-60 percent of the work can be automated which is not so bad. Non-implementation, for this reason, is not justified. However, with the rapid growth, the desired tools may be available in the near future.
Cloud computing can eliminate SAM – With cloud computing still evolving it is quite unclear whether software publishers will allow the free unrestricted use of their software on the cloud. Also, it is quite unclear as to whether corporations who have invested millions of dollars in software will not be able to take this software to cloud environment and reuse them.
Why invest when we are able to use them – Software cost avoidance is achieved easily through non-compliance. Companies would prefer saving cost but should not adhere to cost avoidance practices as the risk of unexpected costs in terms of licensing or legal complications is always possible.
With tools being developed to improve SAM and deliver benefits that are presently unavailable, the future of SAM looks promising. Tools with features like automated reclaims can ensure savings for the companies right from the day they are deployed provided the companies apply for reclaims for any unused software.
With compliance becoming stricter and the implementation of regulations to protect the interests of software publishers, Software asset management is becoming very important for companies. They cannot afford to avoid it. As SAM tools are being developed to be more effective and efficient in managing software assets of companies in 2018, the need for SAM is becoming imperative.