Dec 14, 2020

The Year That Changed Everything: Forecasting 2021 SAM Trends

Recently, I was asked to write about how COVID has shifted the way the Software Asset Management (SAM) & software licensing market works.

This is an interesting question. Although the SAM market has absolutely changed as a result of COVID, it’s still moving in the same direction it always has been; COVID merely acted as an acceleration catalyst.

So, what trends have we seen in 2020 and what changes can we look forward to in 2021?

Organizations have changed more in 6 months than in half a decade

Organizational changes: Talk about an “extreme make over”. ITAM managers I have spoken to over the last 3 months say they barely recognize their organizations anymore.

Between the evolution of IT as organizations expedite virtual workforce initiatives, to the substantial changes in operational cost structure many organizations face, ITAM and SAM have changed more in 6 months than they have in the past 5 years.

What’s around the corner for 2021?

Let’s follow the money. Software vendors are trying to capitalize on market highs and make up for revenues lost earlier in the year. Where is that money coming from? For most software vendors, the answer lies in one of 2 places:

Software vendors may even try and combine these tactics by pushing organizations into signing less favorable cloud contracts to avoid audit penalties.

ITAM pressure is rising

ITAM managers are under increasing pressure now and through 2021 to provide data and information to their organizations fast. This may lead organizations to prioritize ‘fast answers’ over solving their actual problems. So where to from here? First: a warning. If the events of 2020 have led you, as an ITAM manager, to prioritize choosing and implementing ITAM technology, please make sure to do your due diligence.

There is nothing worse than selecting a tool, and realizing your problems still exist post-implementation. Take your time, and remember that sometimes ‘less expensive’ might mean ‘larger problems’.

Start here: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing a Software Asset Management Tool.

Then make sure you take your time throughout the tool selection process. If you don’t have the necessary time or internal resources to complete a proper tool selection and implementation process, then look for an alternative solution.

Gartner is seeing a rise in the number of organizations looking for non-technology based solutions such as SAM managed services. Think of this like paying for the house to be ‘move-in ready’ vs buying the tools to build the house.

Check out the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services 2020, to see how managed services could fast-track your ITAM program back on track.



Topics: SAM Insights, SAM Services