The world of SAM is changing
Despite the onset of worrisome macroeconomic events, we saw the continued adoption of software from organizations at a steep rate in 2022. As enterprises continue to consume software and SaaS, software asset management (SAM) tools are needed to provide visibility into complex IT environments, automate processes, mitigate risk and optimize costs. In fact, Gartner® forecasts that enterprise software spending will reach $754.8 billion in 2023, further highlighting the need for a robust SAM tool.
The many demands placed on SAM tools
All too often the price of SAM takes a back seat to other priorities and initiatives. However, software no longer refers to simply the applications that are installed on your network. Instead, it can now be accessed through web browsers, allow for integrations through marketplaces and cooperate with internet of things (IoT) devices. Nearly every software vendor uses different titles, licensing models and metrics—along with varying usage scenarios and discovery requirements.
Not only are SAM tools expected to meet the demands of diverse license types and infrastructure, but they also must help your enterprise scale. As you adopt more and more software to differentiate yourself in the market, your SAM tools must manage each publisher and product. This includes bundles and custom agreements, secondary metrics, user rights and limitations as well as subcapacity calculations.
Cloud spend is becoming increasingly important
Organizations need the right software asset manager to manage and interpret the data in order to drive actions that realize benefits. Together with the right SAM tool, this can produce significant ROI for your organization—according to Gartner® , 600-800 percent. As inflation rates continue to rise and fears of a global recession grow, organizations will turn their focus to optimizing costs and prioritize their SAM tool investments. Software remains a key area of waste for enterprises, and increased cloud consumption will force leaders to optimize cloud spend.
The Gartner® 2022 Market Guide forecasts worldwide public cloud spend to reach almost $600 billion by 2023, and by that by 2025, organizations with integrated SAM and FinOps functions will report 50 percent less SaaS shelfware than those with separate functions. Historically cloud has sat outside of the SAM role, but in a cloud center of excellence (CCOE) or FinOps department it will be crucial for organizations to integrate both their SAM capabilities and cloud optimization efforts.
Many vendor contracts contain software entitlements and metrics for on-premises and cloud use. If enterprises aren’t able to unite both SAM and cloud they run the risk of having incomplete visibility of both cloud environments and their license estate.
Skills shortages continue to pose a challenge
According to Forbes, 54 percent of companies globally are experiencing a talent shortage. CRN reports that in the United States, this shortage is linked to the Great Resignation, in which an average of nearly 4 million Americans left their jobs each month during 2021. The numbers have surged in 2022 as people contemplate their professional and personal lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IT industry is no stranger to the impact of this trend. Additional research from Gartner® shows 31 percent of employees in the IT space actively sought out a new role between July and September in 2021, and according to Global Knowledge, 76 percent reported critical skills gaps on their teams. As a result of this shortage, managed service providers (MSPs) have grown in popularity. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 40 percent of organizations will default to using continuous SAM managed services from third parties for at least part of their software estate. While enterprises struggle to find skilled IT professionals, MSP expertise can help fill the void.
Set your enterprise up for success
Selecting the right tools to support your organization’s SAM initiative can be challenging. The Gartner® 2022 SAM Market Guide lists four categories for SAM tools: traditional, tools for SAP, tools for SaaS and tools for engineering and specialty software. While there are plenty of representative vendors in the market guide, Flexera is the only provider that spans all four categories defined by Gartner®.