When software is the lifeblood of every enterprise, CIOs must understand whether they are buying too much software, legally using the applications they have, and adequately securing them from exploit by malicious hackers. While Software Asset Management
(SAM) solutions are being widely adopted by enterprises to help, according to a new survey report
published by Flexera Software
, security risks and massive enterprise shifts to the cloud are transforming the definition of SAM and by extension, how SAM solutions must evolve to stay relevant.
"The definition of enterprise software has changed drastically - from an IT asset running on a local physical device - to an asset that is exposed to the risks inherent in the Internet, and is often virtualised or running remotely from a cloud, leveraging cloud infrastructures that carry their own costs and risks," said R "Ray" Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder at Constellation Research. "The old definitions of SAM are too limited and must expand to allow businesses to manage costs and risk in this new IT framework."
The report reveals that enterprises are now largely running a mix of on-premises, virtualised and cloud based applications rendering obsolete, last-generation SAM technology incapable of managing cost and risk across complex desktop, datacenter and cloud environments. Specific survey findings from the report include:
- Windows - Here Today: Almost three quarters (73 percent) of enterprises say the vast majority of their desktop apps (80 percent or more) run on Microsoft Windows.
- Gone Tomorrow? That number will decline to 64 percent within the next two years.
- A Virtual Reality: 39 percent of organisations say a quarter or more of their apps have been virtualised.
- Just Say SaaS: 20 percent of organisations report that more than a quarter of their apps are SaaS-based.
- Partly to Mostly Cloudy:
- 47 percent of enterprises say they are running some of their apps in a public cloud.
- 84 percent report running some of their apps within private clouds.
- Insecure Majority: Only 29 percent of organisations continually monitor their systems to find unlicensed and unauthorised software for security purposes.
"In the old days SAM solutions specialised in optimising spend of desktop applications, but today software can run anywhere such as in the datacenter, on intelligent devices or on hybrid clouds. In addition, applications add to corporate risk such as when software vulnerabilities are exploited by hackers. This forces a rethinking of what Software Asset Management should encompass," said Tom Canning, Flexera Software's Vice President of Enterprise Solutions and Strategy. "SAM tools must evolve to provide automation to minimise enterprise cost and risk regardless of the environments in which software runs. SAM providers that have not kept up will be left behind and many are not keeping up."