What will be the big ITAM trends of 2024? The view from our analysts

18 January 2024
6 minute read
Best practice

What will be the big ITAM trends of 2024? The view from our analysts

18 January 2024
6 minute read

With Blue Monday behind us, it is safe to say that 2024 is now in full swing. So, we thought now would be a good time to take stock of the current state of ITAM and make some predictions about the big trends to expect in 2024.

No doubt there will be some licensing shockers that we will need to respond to, although I’m not sure much could top Oracle’s seismic Java licensing changes and VMware’s cessation of perpetual licenses last year, but never say never. We can also expect to see a few more surprise M&As within the sector, some big hires and movers, and of course some interesting new product/service launches from the vendor community to better serve the continually evolving role of the IT Asset Manager.

What else should we expect? We aim to publish a few articles on this topic over the next few weeks with various voices from the industry. To kick things off we have the view from our analysts. Rich and AJ share their thoughts and expectations for 2024. If you have a perspective you’d like to share with the community as part of this series, drop me a line.

Rich Gibbons, ITAM Review: AI, consolidation and third-party support

AI will be a huge talking point – both as a concept within ITAM and as something to be managed within an organisation.

Rich Gibbons ITAM Review
Rich Gibbons, ITAM Review

With the former, we will see its inclusion within SAM tools becoming a key point for many – particularly when looking to acquire or renew a tool; equally, it will be a key selling point for those vendors who have such features. AI within SAM tools may well be a “keeping up with the Joneses” situation where vendors need to add and promote “AI” features just to keep up appearances within the market. Whether they have the budget and internal bandwidth to “AI-ify” their tools as well as maintain support levels, current roadmaps etc. remains to be seen (see our article Are ITAM tools vendors focusing too much on the next big thing (e.g. FinOps) at the expense of core SAM functionality? For more on this topic).

On the other side of the coin, almost every software vendor is adding AI to their portfolio right now. The most prominent is Microsoft and their raft of Copilots – some additional licenses such as Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Copilot for Service, some included within other products like Power BI, Dynamics 365, and Power Apps, and some available for free. This brings additional work, costs, and confusions for businesses – much of which will involve ITAM, SAM, and licensing professionals.

AI also changes the renewal and negotiation positions for many businesses and introduces several new concerns around data privacy for organisations to contend with.

Consolidation will continue across the industry – even while many customers are yet to fully feel the impact of those that have already happened such as IBM + Apptio, Broadcom + VMware, and Flexera + Snow. Being aware of these industry movements and having a process for understanding and mitigating their impact on you business is something that all modern Software/IT/Technology/Enterprise Asset Managers should be doing.

I also believe the 3rd-party support industry will gain traction and increased prominence in 2024. With the almost innumerable price increases from software vendors in 2023 coupled with support policies and roadmaps that aren’t necessarily “customer-first”, organisations are more compelled than ever to look at alternatives. Making such a change can bring two key benefits – reduced costs and improved support, both of which every business wants. There are 3rd party alternatives for an increasing number of software vendors includes Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Citrix and more and I expect this to grow through 2024 and beyond.

AJ Witt, ITAM Review: Transition, AI and data

“I see 2024 as a transitional year following the industry and indeed global upheaval of 2023. Last year we saw price rises, mega-mergers, and seismic shifts in licensing metrics and how software is purchased. That leaves me with a feeling of “surely there’s nothing else that can be thrown at us!”. So, 2024 will be the year where the impact of all these changes starts to be felt by many organizations as existing contracts and relationships come up for renewal. The key as ever is to be well prepared for those negotiations and that starts with visibility and data.

Visibility and data also provides us with new opportunities. As we saw with Atlassian’s acquisition of ITAM tool provider Airtrack last year this is a big topic which goes beyond ITAM’s traditional remit. The reality is that everyone needs our data so it’s time to look at your tooling and data strategy – can you provide insight to diverse stakeholders in the context they require?

Undoubtedly AI and specifically Large Language Models will play a role in this. We’re still on the upward curve of the hype cycle and virtually every tool or service provider I’ve spoken to in the past few months either has AI enhancements in market or on their roadmap for 2024. The key for ITAM Managers – and wider society – is whether we can trust what those tools tell us.”

AI, consolidation (in addition to feeling the effects of previous year’s consolidations), data and visibility. What do you see in your crystal ball as the big ITAM trends in 2024? Let me know what you expect to see dominating our headlines in 2024.

Hang on, did nobody mention FinOps???

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