Jun 13, 2017

SAM in the Cloud: 7 SaaS Risks to Avoid

Using a large variety of cloud services offers many benefits for organizations. They become more agile, achieve faster time-to-market, and overall IT costs are more transparent, which all lead to efficient financial management across the enterprise.

However, license management in a cloud environment presents a new set of challenges for software license management. Relevant license changes can happen instantly – and as we all know, shifts in licensing rules can greatly impact existing software deployment and usage.

Increased cloud licensing does not mean that Software Asset Management (SAM) is no longer necessary. To the contrary, SAM is more integral than ever to help organizations control costs and improve financial management. Cloud adoption pushes SAM platforms to deliver real-time data, cost-saving features. SAM begins to now shift, putting increased focus on XaaS and financial management.

A clear view to control costs

Although we currently see a huge movement towards various Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments. Most likely, the trend towards Software as a Service (SaaS) will continue to bring a lot of products into the cloud. This means that the need to worry about licensing infrastructure components and middleware, or tracking hardware changes is no longer present.

Thus, SaaS solutions, over all other layers, reduce internal IT management costs and effort to a bare minimum. However, the costs for these SaaS solutions should not be under estimated. The risk of ending up with unnecessary user licenses and inactive users increase the danger of high licensing costs.

Furthermore, Software Asset Managers often have an obstructed view of the overall landscape because SaaS solutions are often used, payed for, and managed outside ITAM and SAM. The first and most important step towards a more mature SaaS usage is to get a centralized and consolidated overview over all instances of a particular service. Focused on this critical demand, Aspera recently pioneered LicenseControl for Salesforce – the first SAM solution that enables cross-Org transparency and cost optimization. 

In order to then control costs – and effectively manage the financial impact of cloud across larger organizations, SAM teams need to be vigilant about implementing processes that protect against the following seven challenges:

  1. Overspend risk. SAM must manage software assets and services to control hidden costs, keeping an eye on the TCO bigger picture.
  2. Security risk. Cloud means that licensing is accessible everywhere. BYOD policies should be re-evaluated.
  3. Measurement risk. Is your SAM platform able to measure the license metrics?
  4. Data risk. Be aware of the potential for data privacy, information security, or business continuity exposure.
  5. Time risk. Services are now provisioned and changed in a matter of minutes, so extreme governance is needed to defend against immediate cost impact.
  6. Compliance risk. Geographical limitations, sharing user accounts, non-employee access, and indirect usage all can affect compliance.
  7. Hidden cost risk. What are the additional costs for migration, renewals, and true-ups? Make sure you check requirements and restrictions for transferring licenses to the cloud.

Cloud-proof your SAM

Avoid these risks by ensuring that your SAM solution includes the functionality to address these challenges. For effective cloud license management, it’s crucial that a SAM solution offers a consolidated view of your cloud estate, cloud metering, usage optimization (ie: enforce a use-or-lose policy), and cost and consumption management. Only through clear visibility across an entire organization, can you break the cloud silos, and follow the money for quick results and deepest ROI.

Case Study

Take a deep dive into SaaS spend optimization challenges - and get strategies to control your future SaaS spend. Read the case study, Salesforce and the SaaS Spend Explosion.

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Topics: Cloud, SaaS, Salesforce, SAM Insights