More than one in three American workers today are so-called “Millennials” (i.e. they turned 21 after the turn of the century) and this year the Millennial generation is forecast to surpass Baby Boomers as the largest living generation.
Unlike their forebears, this latest generation of working-age men and women have grown up in the digital age and have a markedly different attitude to how they consume IT for both personal and business purposes.
Whereas Baby Boomers and Generation X workers expected to supplied with the tools necessary to do their jobs, Millennials don’t wait; they just go out and get what they want, from wherever is easiest to get it. This is the generation that’s really driving the adoption of mobile IT and BYOD.
According to various sources, upwards of 60% of employees now use personal devices for work. In reality, organizations have little or no choice as to whether they embrace this change.
Apps are everywhere – how did we ever manage before? No longer only the preserve of consumer activities, users are downloading apps that make their professional lives easier and more productive. They want – and use – the tools that they can get the job done effectively, accessing information and functions at a swipe or a tap of the screen.
Now, with the launch of Windows 10 today, where there’ll be only one platform for all Windows-powered devices (with mobile following desktops and laptops in the near future), users will be able to access their work and desktop from whatever the device via the same apps and software.
Many software vendors are adapting to this changing user behavior by licensing software per user instead of per device, or at least offering some form of hybrid solution whereby a user can consume the same software on a limited number of devices.
Mobile devices are also a major driver behind licensing metrics such as ‘indirect usage’, where apps on a user’s devices effectively call up or query enterprise applications back in the datacenter. While the mobile device itself does not have Vendor X’s apps installed, the mobile device is deriving ‘benefit’ from querying the app back at the office.
And of course, that means Vendor X sees an opportunity to monetize this access.
The impact of mobility on Software Asset Management
Software Asset Management (SAM) requirements have never really stood still for any period of time. It didn’t take long for the focus of ‘compliance’ to shift from the desktop to the datacenter, and then to have to cope with technological advances such as virtualization and cloud computing.
Mobile is just the next stage in an evolutionary process.
At Snow, we call this ability to manage all forms of software consumption ‘4th Generation SAM’. The challenge for many organizations is that they are still practising first, or at best, second generation SAM, focusing almost exclusively on the desktops and servers.
Adding mobile to the mix is seen as an unwelcome distraction. There is bad news and good news. The bad news is that resistance is futile. Software publishers are already wise to the fact that there’s money to be made from enterprise mobililty, and they are becoming increasingly tenacious about realizing this ‘missing’ revenue.
We’re already seeing organizations hit with audits of their mobile estate, ready or not. The good news, however, is that SAM platforms like Snow are ready to support the full requirements of 4th Generation SAM, expanding inventory and license management capabilities to the full range of mobile platforms. Snow has introduced the concept of ‘Mobile SAM’ as part of its approach to managing software and licenses across all devices to include mobile platforms such as iOS, Windows Phone and Android.
By providing a single pane of glass from the datacenter through PCs and laptops to mobile devices, Snow gives organizations true 360-degree visibility of what applications are in use across all platforms and how they are being accessed by users.
Software vendors are joining the march of the Millennials – it’s yet another area of revenue for them – after all with predictions that by 2017 there’ll be 1.4 mobile devices per person, they will want to ensure every user is covered with an appropriate license.
So now is the time to ensure your workforce’s mobile devices are covered by your SAM program and platform.