Transition to cloud often involves new contracts, new metrics, orphaned assets and new demands on how the agreements are tracked. There is lots of room in this for advantage, but also a high risk of unnecessary impacts.
There is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the use of software tools for licence management, further fuelled by often unrealistic claims by their publishers. Architectural matters, data quality and the cost of constantly maintaining automated positions need to be assessed carefully. The cost of the additional skills in the SAM team and the maturity and clear accountability for data related processes will be essential.
Meeting GDPR requirements is not directly addressed by ITAM or SAM, contrary perhaps to the claims of some service or tools providers. However, poor practice in these areas can hinder a GDPR initiative. Demonstrating that there is adequate tracking of what systems, applications and datasets exist is fundamental to the first stage of GDPR compliance.
ITAM and SAM are often poorly defined as outsourced services by the larger service providers, which can lead to unnecessary friction in the relationship. This is particularly the case given that asset volumes are often used for billing for the overall service. Efficiency can also become challenging, as end user organisations demand complex datasets relating to Software Licensing at short notice when threatened by an audit. This is emphasised further by the criticality of virtual platforms (clustering, machine and application virtualisation and CPU/socket definition, and environments (production, test/dev and DR), all of which have a huge bearing on net licence demand.
Larger and more complicated organisations tend not to leverage and optimise existing ‘stock’ of assets efficiently. Requests for hardware, resulting in purchases when there is already repurposed hardware available, joiner/leaver process efficiency and overbuying software licences due to unknown stock levels.