The majority of IT professionals do not specialize in a software asset management (SAM) or software license management career, but the demand for professionals educated in this are growing exponentially. One of the reasons for this steep growth is the increase in vendor software audits. Alone the thought of having to go through an audit prompts most CIOs to take the appropriate steps to comply with license terms. But what if the licensing is so convoluted that “complying” is easier said than done?
Did you know that software license management as service exists? It’s easy for some to dismiss License management as a Service (LaaS) as too good to be true. But, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. While the service provider cannot enforce your software asset management (SAM) policies or make your SAM optimization decisions for you, they can manage and process the data for you and present it to you so all you have to do is make the decision/take action.
The CFO's role depends on the organization. For many of our customers the legal entity CFO's accountable for license compliance in their respective legal entities. The reason for this is it often falls into budget controlling. Software license management is used to measure demand for licenses and therefore plan the budget.
Paul, you are right - changing the type of distribution or the system platform let the dollar signs shine in every vendors eye. Since they are typically not covered by the old license model it provides them the opportunity for selling new licenses and/or increasing the demand.
For license management this means that platform changes need to be analysed from a licensing perspective and license cost need to be considered in any TCO analysis.
Pearl you're exactly right. License management covers a complex cross section of IT and business and the project often involves IT, Finance, and Purchasing. For this reason the focal point of license management is transparency and reproducible processes. The use of a process oriented solution increases transparency by establishing one process chain from data gathering to reporting. This way the CIO and CFO are able to focus on the important aspects of license management: demand and budget planning, strategic purchasing to permanently drive down software costs, eliminating non-compliance risks, software/license use optimization, and faster IT service.
Aspera was a sponsor of the Financial World of Information Technology Conferences, held this past July in Texas, so I attended the event. We were the only software license management specialist at the conference and quite a few attendees asked us about license metrics and how license consumption is measured.
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