With the market dynamics changing quite drastically, cloud delivered / SaaS Software Asset Management is becoming increasingly more important.

In summary, the area is very different from traditional SAM and every large company must act to address this or face very significant cost impacts.

  • For example, we are talking about cloud services such as Office 365, Adobe, Salesforce, SAP or Oracle cloud delivered apps.
  • Many of the tools vendors for SAM are currently acquiring or releasing SaaS, such as ServiceNow with VendorHawk or Flexera with Meta SaaS. These tools require detailed data analytics and SaaS account administration to make them effective.

Licensing in the Cloud and Shadow IT

Licensing in the cloud has the following characteristics:

  • Compliance is not an issue for these SaaS instances as access is controlled by the vendors subscription and access methods;
  • Cost control becomes much more challenging, since;
    1. Many cloud services are purchased in the business or by business unit IT, rather than by central IT. This creates so called ‘Shadow IT’ and many separately SaaS instances with no centrally managed contract and volume price discount
    2. Shadow IT is often purchased locally, via credit cards or local budgets and is very cost inefficient. It will often renew, even when accounts are no longer used
    3. Joiner / leaver management is often inefficient, resulting in 20%+ more subscriptions than required
    4. The type of account required is often not optimised, resulting in higher subscription costs than required
    5. Often unique consoles or APIs per vendor provide potential access to information on SaaS accounts and usage, but this makes managing each vendor’s products challenging

  •  Hybrid use in the cloud introduces complex licensing risks, such as for example using Microsoft SQL on an AWS PaaS (platform as a service) virtual server. Mistakes can mean having to pay hundreds of times more for a licence as all the underlying physical infrastructure must be licenced.

What can be done about this?

Some examples of how to address these challenges;

  • Discovery of SaaS apps in use to determine risk and enable more centralised control using specialised SaaS management tools which access Single Sign On (SSO access) solutions such as OKTA.
    (It is our experience that this is a very powerful first piece of information, and almost always produces a surprising amount of spend and cost reduction opportunity)
  • Harvesting of un-used SaaS accounts to reduce cost, or elimination of unauthorised apps
  • Centralised contracts to maximise volume discounts
  • Reduced instances of SaaS to hold data in one place and manage it more effectively
  • Centralised management and chargeback of SaaS apps to reduce ops costs
  • Carefully segmented virtualisation to prevent for example Oracle DB or SQL additional costs being incurred

Should you wish to investigate this further, please email your enquiry to info@itamsolutions.com or call 03704 050508 for a free consultation to assess your requirements.