On May 21, Snow Software attended the annual International Business Software Managers Association (IBSMA) conference in London. The 2019 SAM Summit in London focused on the ever-increasing software asset management (SAM) challenge around such initiatives as cloud migration, accelerating business unit IT and digital transformation.
IT’s Cloud Challenge
The day started with an introductory session from Stephen Russman, Executive Director at IBSMA, covering the difficult challenges faced by IT today. According to analysts, cloud spend has increased year-over-year by 20% while corresponding IT spend has only increased by 3% – even though the scope is rapidly expanding, the resources to manage it are not growing at the same pace.
But cloud spend isn’t just getting bigger, the purchasers are also becoming more distributed throughout the organization. While it may make sense to fund the initial outlay through the business unit requiring the cloud service, is that same unit best placed to manage it? Do they have the right skills to get the best deal and know their usage to manage ongoing costs?
Russman suggested that in a world moving quickly into cloud adoption, IT should play a key part in brokering cloud services to reduce costs.
Finding Common Ground
The day continued with excellent sessions around SAP, IBM and Oracle. Underpinning all the sessions were the common challenges of loss of control, lack of visibility, changing regulations, ever increasingly complex pricing models, and a move towards managing ongoing cost and usage rather than just focusing on audit compliance.
This topic resonated perfectly with the keynote speech, “Everyone’s an IT Decision Maker, Now What?” delivered by Victoria Barber, Technology Guardian at Snow. Barber looked at how digital transformation and cloud are empowering a new breed of technology decision maker, with no background in IT procurement or negotiation and a lack of understanding of governance or compliance. She explored how, as the technology guardian within your organisation, you can adapt to this new situation and stay relevant.
Current and Future Role of SAM
The day ended with a panel discussion around the role of SAM now and in the future. The panel included Russman, Barber, Rachel Ryan of Danske Bank, Simon Bolton of KPMG, and Steven Smith from Cisco. All agreed that data is invaluable for making better business decisions and can be used to engage stakeholders, but many departments are not aware of the huge data asset residing in their SAM system. Having one good, trusted source of data frees up IT and Finance to concentrate on tasks that bring value to the business. Additionally, the growing cybersecurity threat means that companies are spending more and more each year on security. Partnering with SAM gives security teams the ability to easily define their IT landscape as all the information about assets, versions and usage has already been collected and compiled.
IT is evolving from a gatekeeper, controlling spend and usage, to a subject matter expert playing an essential role collaborating across the business, driving innovation and contributing towards the organization’s performance and growth.
One thing is for sure, this complexity makes SAM indispensable.
The biggest takeaway from the day went back to the cloud challenge. While other business units may be buying cloud services, ongoing expense management will lie with IT, so it is imperative to have tools that can provide clear and accurate data on cloud consumption. Today’s SAM practitioners need solutions that recognize new cloud vendors and apps as they come to market, then continuously monitor usage and cost to put IT in the best possible position to provide value across the entire organization.