#SAM – Six years after the first edition explaining the Software Asset Management (SAM) assignments (at that time an emerging discipline), and the advantages for organisations for managing their software assets, Cigref is providing its members with an updated overview of the SAM function in light of the challenges related to the cloud, which is shaking up this function and companies.
Driven by harsher business relations with software publishers and the amounts of money involved, the progression of SAM within companies is irrevocable. However, the Cigref survey highlights contrasting situations: there are as many ways to manage software assets as there are companies, even if common trends are emerging around allocated resources (budget and full-time equivalents), core assignments, tools and the method of organisation. The agreed investment is in line with the risk and cost that software, application and cloud solutions represent in IT department and Business department budgets.
However, a significant number of companies and administrations are “only” venturing into the structuring of a SAM function now. This observation makes knowledge-building and experience-sharing processes, along with good practices concerning the processes, organisations and tools, etc., even more useful.
The ecosystem of players (IT consultancies, firms, distributors, freelancers, SAM and SLO publishers) and their range of products and services designed to assist the professionalisation of companies with this function are also extensively consolidated and developed. Generalist and specialist players (or pure players) have organised themselves in this market to cover the wide range of service needs of companies.
Whatever its level of maturity, its model and its resources, the SAM function must integrate the progressive switchover of on-premises infrastructures to cloud offers and, as with all support functions, demonstrate its efficiency and contribution to the company’s performance.
Although it is recognised that SAM may be a cost centre in the initial months of installation (investments in consultancy services and tools, compliance inventories demonstrating the risks to be funded, etc.), SAM is expected to be able to go beyond the defensive approach with regard to publishers (a posteriori audit management) and move towards a genuine application and software base optimisation process, in line with the Group strategy (internal developments, open source, cloud shift, etc.). Therefore, attaching a large number of SAM functions directly to the Group IT department is indicative. This report ultimately highlights the maturity curve of the function, and therefore of the teams, and the issue of attractiveness and renewal of skills, internally and externally. As with many other IT professions, the sector (customers and partners) must organise itself and players must work together to train and attract talent.