We are still early in 2015, so now is still a justifiably permissible time to to reflect on the trends that have emerged in the management of IT software estates in the past year.
Some of the key trends that have emerged, and what should be expected in the next 12 months:
Hybrid (license) headaches
The rise of hybrid IT will create another barrier to achieving an accurate account of software licenses says Prendergast.
Cloud services have now reached a level of maturity and the industry can begin to see how it has served businesses over an extended period of time, and how businesses have found the best ways to use it he says.
“Hybrid IT has become the deployment model of choice for many businesses that want to reap the benefits of cloud but for reasons (e.g. wanting to keep some sensitive information on-premise or migrating to cloud in phases) have decided not to migrate fully. While hybrid IT creates a comfortable deployment model for many, it can create a new level of complexity when it comes to identifying exactly what is on your IT estate, whether it is in use or not. It can be much more difficult, especially in the case of larger enterprises, to keep track of license renewals, changes, or even raw numbers. With the rise in popularity of hybrid IT over the next year, it will become more difficult to have a true account of an entire software and application license estate, especially for business that still use very basic ways to track license numbers.”
Bring Your Own _______
Prendergast further asserts that BYOA (application) will continue to complicate IT estate transparency within enterprises.
With a plethora of helpful applications available to consumers in the market today, it’s easier than ever before for employees to pick and download the applications they want to company devices, whether it’s a laptop, mobile phone or tablet, to help them when working.
Prendergast suggests that as well as making it harder to have a clear picture of exactly how many licenses make up a company’s software license estate, it also causes compliance issues when placing company data on unauthorised cloud apps.
“With the rise in the consumerisation of IT, more departments are taking steps to procure the applications they want using their own budgets and without consulting the IT department. The Bring Your Own App (BYOA) trend will continue to grow in the next year, and without visibility of exactly what is being downloaded, or employing effective company policies which control app downloading, BYOA and the actions of employees will continue to create a compliance risk. Enterprises that haven’t done so already, will need to take steps to control this and implement policy management.”
Unlimited licence unleashed
More vendors will begin to offer ‘unlimited’ licence agreements
This has already started happening with many larger vendors that will claim the intention is to ‘ease’ cloud license management for businesses that are admittedly struggling to keep track with a cloud-based IT infrastructure, or projecting fast growth says licence.
“Paying a one-off fee for unlimited licenses may sound like a win-win situation, after all, there’s little if any risk of non-compliance, however, it puts the control right back into the hands of the vendor. The vendor will be aware of how many licenses have been used when a contract expires but they will be less than willing to share this with a customer, meaning that they could be paying over the odds if they’ve actually been using less licenses than they think. Regardless, vendors will continue to see these types of contracts as an easy revenue stream in 2015, and will look to target companies that haven’t taken steps to keep track of their own software estates.”
Vendor audits will increase and become more aggressive
Concord’s Prendergast further states that for similar reasons to the above, namely the lack of clarity when it comes to monitoring estates in the wake of cloud and BYOA, vendors will continue to take advantage of rampant industry naivety by conducting more audits.
“The majority of vendor contracts have an audit clause included, and with more businesses struggling to keep track of software estates, vendors are noticing that there are more chances to catch out their customers for non-compliance. That’s not to mention the multiple revenue opportunities, thanks to upgrades and back-payments on maintenance contracts.”
Recently evaluated by The ITAM Review, Concorde’s Core Control software license optimisation platform offers a thorough yet easy to use platform for software asset management teams to gain a comprehensive view of software license estates within their organisations. It’s becoming more important now – with the emergence of new technologies and new types of working – to take control of the way an IT infrastructure, and software estate is managed to reduce compliance risk, drive cost savings, and ultimately gain efficiency.