New Flexera Software Report: Security Vulnerabilities and the Cloud Redefining Software Asset Management

When software can run anywhere, and vulnerabilities can strike everywhere – how must SAM evolve to reduce risk and cost?

Itasca, IL - December 6, 2016 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 virtualized 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, virtualized 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 organizations say a quarter or more of their apps have been virtualized.
  • Just Say SaaS: 20 percent of organizations 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 organizations continually monitor their systems to find unlicensed and unauthorized software for security purposes.

“In the old days SAM solutions specialized in optimizing 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 minimize 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.”


Access the report: Software Asset Management.Next

Learn more about Flexera Software’s solutions:

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Flexera helps executives succeed at what once seemed impossible: getting clarity into, and full control of, their company’s technology “black hole.” From on-premises to the cloud, Flexera helps business leaders turn IT insights into action. With a portfolio of integrated solutions that deliver unparalleled technology insights, spend optimization and agility, Flexera helps enterprises optimize their technology footprint and realize IT’s full potential to accelerate their businesses. For over 30 years, our 1,300+ team members worldwide have been passionate about helping our more than 20,000 customers fuel business success. To learn more, visit

About this Report

The 2016 Key Trends in Software Pricing and Licensing survey was conducted by Flexera Software.  This annual research project looks at software licensing, pricing and enforcement trends and best practices.  The survey reaches out to executives at application producers (software vendors and intelligent device manufacturers) and enterprises who use and manage software and devices.  Now in its tenth year, the survey is made available to the industry at large each year.

In total, 489 respondents participated in the survey, including 221 respondents to our enterprise survey and 268 respondents to our application producer survey.  33% of the enterprise respondents were from larger enterprises of $1 billion or more in revenues, and 18% were from companies with $3 billion in revenues or more.  Among other places, 56% of respondents were from the United States, and the remainder from 37 countries across all continents.


Ashleigh Giliberto
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