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SAM must shift focus to address changing priorities

by Stephen White  |  January 17, 2017  |  Comments Off on SAM must shift focus to address changing priorities

Changed software market dynamics mean the focus of SAM must respond to altered priorities

The provider lead shift of application business and delivery models to SaaS, in turn leads to a substantial change in software provider / client relationship, becomes stickier and alters the nature of risk.

As we reported last year – the myth that it is impossible to be out of compliance with SaaS needs to be addressed. The role SAM plays becomes even more vital when considering requirements to address cost escalation challenges, whilst also establishing if adoption of a cloud service will be, or is, successful.


In essence the view of SAM’s role must switch from a practice of managing license compliance, to measuring and managing consumption of provisioned services and functions.

  • First, in the context of not only SaaS, SAM provides the astute with a vehicle to understand which users or user groups will consume the functions being evaluated in advance of adoption.
  • Second, we should consider also that given SaaS providers are prone to withhold functionality for measuring consumption of their solution, it is essential that SAM tools are capable of effectively metering usage, thereby enabling both an actions to understanding of value derived and address any lag in adoption.
  • Thirdly, given potential for escalating cost our organization may incur, we should be mindful to identify value extracted through consumption and enable excessive subscriptions and shelfware to be eliminated.

Accordingly, we should see SaaS not as a measure to eliminate need for SAM as a governance function. We should however choose to strategically invest in the SAM function, ensuring the means for managing functional and quantitative usage of each SaaS solution adopted is in place to regulate and report on consumption.

We have kick started 2017 with new SAM research that analyzes these impacts in more depth, including a look at changes in providers approach to auditing. The solution will be a combination of tools, disciplined process, resources to govern the practice and awareness of inherent risks and the governing frameworks put in place to manage them. The question for many remains whether to create mechanisms internally or utilize third party expertise.


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Category: asset-management  cloud  it-cost-optimization  

Tags: cloud  cost-optimization  licenisng  sam  software-asset-management  

Stephen White
Research Director
4 years at Gartner
16 years IT Industry

Stephen White is a Research Director in Gartner's IT Asset Management, Vendor Management and Procurement team, focusing on strategic licensing and negotiation strategies, asset management, and reseller engagement. Mr. White leverages his experience in software sales and consulting to assist IT leaders through his coverage of best practices in license life cycle strategy and trends, license metric and pricing practices, contract negotiations, optimizing terms and conditions, sourcing, and relationship management. Read Full Bio

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