In 2011 we conducted some research into ‘ITAM in the Cloud’ with Victoria Barber from Gartner. At the time, ITAM Review readers were telling us:
Two years on and the growth of Cloud continues to permeate the enterprise in all it’s different forms and a key concern for those of us in the industry is how will this change the role of SAM?
My view is that to think cloud means the end of SAM is to misunderstand what SAM is all about in the first place.
The territory is changing but the core principles remain the same.
Rather than a threat, the disruptive force of Cloud presents a great opportunity for those working day-to-day SAM to broaden their skills, value and strategic importance by helping their businesses navigate these new technologies.
The BSA have published a paper entitled: Navigating the cloud: Why Software Asset Management is more important than ever.
“Is SAM still necessary if a company moves to the cloud? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Although cloud services are different than traditionally distributed software in important respects — the need to effectively manage the lifecycle of software assets is equally compelling in a cloud environment.”
The document reads like a scrapbook of SAM concepts rather than a definitive piece of best practice guidance, but nonetheless it’s good to see BSA shining a light on some of the issues and the document provides some good nuggets:
That last fourth point might keep us busy for another decade.
With any person in the business equipped with a budget or a credit card able to buy and implement SaaS solutions by themselves without IT – a key challenge will be
As a function, we need to address the growth of Shadow IT by bringing value add to the table, not bellyaching about governance. The SAM market began with inventory and auto-discovery. Management of Cloud requires the same. Watching a browser proxy to see what your users are up to and what cloud services they are buying isn’t going to cut it.
The paper also attempts to summarize some of the key considerations for Software Asset Managers:
All of these issues point towards fewer configuration/IT led work and more contracts, business relationship management and vendor management.
You can grab a copy here: https://portal.bsa.org/samcloud/bsasamcloud.pdf
I would welcome your feedback on this paper – and in particular would love to hear what resources we could build on The ITAM Review to dig deeper into some of these issues and share your experiences in this area.