Oct 04, 2018

3 Simple Steps to Cloud Software Asset Management

We want to play an old favorite tune of ours, one we think you know quite well. It’s a song we trust, and our customers do as well: Software Asset Management is the surest way to lower your software costs.

Yes, even for cloud software asset management.

The cloud has changed everything. Your mountains of servers and on-premises installations have been reduced to laptops, tablets, smartphones, and high-speed wireless connections. Central purchasing and IT have given way to Sally in Marketing who uses the company credit card to buy licenses for the apps she needs to extend her reach to your potential customers. It’s the ideal of flexibility and dynamism that every organization wants to achieve.

Even if your servers have turned into a high-speed connection and some login credentials, you’re still paying for the software, and you still want the lowest prices. This is why you need cloud software asset management.

Gartner estimates that “By 2021, SaaS to reach 45% of total application software spending”. (Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 21.4 Percent in 2018, April 12, 2018)

Lower your cloud costs with data, tools, and strategy

The fundamentals still apply. If you want to master your cloud environment, then you have to go back to some SAM basics. Here are 3 simple steps for doing cloud software asset management:

1) Collect your data

Data is the bedrock of cloud software asset management. Without a clear overview of the relevant data, you can miss opportunities for optimizing your environment or run into compliance issues. Here’s a short list of the data you need for doing SAM in the cloud:

  • The number of users accessing the software
  • The number of processors on the device hosting the application
  • Product use rights for virtualization
  • PUR/specific vendor rules for cloud computing environments
  • Whether you have a hybrid licensing model, allowing for dual-usage in both the cloud and on-premises

With the right data in hand, you might find that you need less server space in your Amazon Web Service instance, or discover an indirect access problem on your Salesforce platform. With SAM in the cloud, you find these opportunities and challenges before they end up costing you money.

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2) Get a software license management tool

Gathering the relevant data to do cloud software asset management can take months, but the data itself changes every day. Using spreadsheets to do SAM is like trying to use your rotary phone to surf the internet; it’s not just outdated, it’s impossible.

A software license management tool is the only way to bring together the licensing terms and conditions and all the relevant data cleanly and effectively. Spreadsheets can’t optimize, and neither can your SAM team, no matter how good they are. There is just too much to know. But a tool can synthesize all that information automatically to provide alerts, analyses, and options for optimization.

3) Develop a software license management strategy

Effective Software Asset Management takes more than just the right data and a tool; it takes strategy. Your initial cloud software asset management program should avoid trying to do it all. We recommend looking at your cloud and SaaS expenses and starting with those providers who represent about 80% or your current costs.

Continuously monitor the growth and relevance of the cloud or SaaS product, and use that information to decide whether and how to continue licensing that product. In this way you are prepared for negotiations well in advance.

After all, in the cloud, the standard is no longer compliance but the cost of usage rights.

Software Asset Management to infinity and beyond!

No matter how much software technology changes, you won’t be able to stop licensing costs from eating away at your budget without:

  • the right data
  • the best tools
  • a strong strategy

With these fundamentals in place, you’ll be prepared for whatever the future brings.

How to Build an Effective Cloud Management Practice: Strategies, People, Processes, and Tools

Learn how to minimize Cloud Shock – the unexpected, unbudgeted cost increase from delivering IT services via public cloud. Read the latest research from The ITAM Review.

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Topics: Cloud, SaaS, SAM Insights