Gartner ITSV Summit 2018 – Increasing Awareness and Challenges for SAM
License Dashboard recently returned as a sponsor of Gartner’s newly expanded EMEA IT Sourcing, Procurement, Vendor & Asset Management Summit. The three-day event held at the O2 Intercontinental London, now combining vendor sourcing and procurement with IT asset management, was a real opportunity to understand the day-to-day challenges faced by ITAM professionals and get a view of the varying levels of ITAM and SAM maturity across a broad range of organizations.
The combined nature of the event also gave SAM a platform in front of IT professionals outside of the traditional ITAM channels. Conversations held with procurement and sourcing managers gave fresh perspective to the benefits of an effective SAM program that can be experienced throughout an organization. Gartner have stressed the relevance of the ‘SAM for stakeholders outside of IT’ message for some time, with most SAM tool and service providers directing their output to speak to these individuals and departments as well as SAM and ITAM managers.
The desired outcome of SAM
Whilst each individual or department has their own nuanced requirements, the desired outcomes of a tool or service remain; cost savings, risk reduction and time saved. The reporting output of a SAM tool is clearly a vital component, especially for sourcing and procurement professionals who more often than not require an easy-to-consume dashboard view of their organisation’s assets, available licenses, consumption data and monthly software spend.
It is clear that the data platform provided by an effective SAM programme can be used to drive processes throughout an organization. SAM enables organizations to rationalize vendors and software, driving efficiencies and savings. The value of the data, especially consolidating disparate data sets, was frequently highlighted as a desired outcome from a SAM solution by the conference attendees.
Audit-centric Software Asset Management
The event also highlighted that the awareness of SAM as a requirement for businesses continues to increase. More organizations are investing in SAM for the first time, and for these organisations it is vital for the basics of an effective SAM program to be established. This means an audit-centric approach to Software Asset Management, an approach where all data is collated, challenged and validated to ensure the SAM team is getting a true picture of their IT assets and usage.
This approach enables organisations to properly understand where savings and efficiencies can be made, as well as ensuring licensing compliance across their estate. The increasing importance of managing software when transitioning to the cloud as well as managing SaaS consumption is recognised, however this can only be achieved with that initially thorough, audit-centric approach.
There’s no SaaS Management without Effective SAM
The aspiration of managing SaaS and cloud consumption was rightly a hot-topic on the show floor, but it is still clear that many organisations do not have mature SAM programs in place and the basics of an effective SAM program should be understood and implemented first. These organisations then have a decision to make as to whether they decide to invest in technology, operated by their own in-house team, or to opt for a SAM Managed Service as an extension of their own IT resource.
Both approaches have their own benefits and will be suited to individual organisations based on the nature of their industry, the skill sets of their current employees or the complexities of their IT network.