Next Gen SAM in the Cloud/IOT – Putting Context on the ‘Myths’

SAM-Cloud-IOT-myths-connectivityThe key is context around software as its development and functionality is designed and licensed by vendors for usage in any organisation throughout the globe.  Naturally every vertical, country and business is going to be different and utilising and optimising this is critical.

We often hear the following phrases from customers or within discussions in the industry:

“We won’t need SAM when we go to the cloud”

Whilst you may not need software licence management, you will definitely need SAM – this is the process and governance around cloud consumption as the commercial impact to this could be really significant to an organisation (see the audits note below).

As with cloud service, licensing is redundant (in the main) as the services are the route to software availability, but when anything is provisioned it is paid for.

Old World: Server is provisioned with software deployed and run from a datacentre

New World: VM is provisioned with associated software dependent on service ‘switched on’

In the old world, this server (physical or virtual) can be tracked and managed through existing discovery / inventory tools and lack of usage can be recorded and device decommissioned if not required.

In the new world it could be likely that the person who provisioned the service may leave or not require this anymore and if this is not decommissioned then the business still pays for this.  This would be made worse by more services being provisioned without any knowledge of whether there is ‘spare’ services already provisioned that could be used.  Therefore, commercial inefficiencies will exist without effective SAM.

Additionally without process maturity on the procurement, this could be purchased by a company credit card and if that user leaves the business and the credit card is cancelled this will then cease the service resulting in potential severe outages.

“As soon as we migrate to SaaS or similar, this will simplify everything”

Whilst it might simplify payments to a vendor, the complexities of cloud orchestration, integration, visibility and management reporting will be much more complicated.  In the traditional datacentre, you can track assets and manage these through in-house toolsets – within the cloud it could be much more challenging with sprawl, shadow IT and numerous sources of data repositories.

“Audits will cease in cloud services”

Oracle recently noted that audits will not be an event within cloud services and this is true.  The reason this is true is that any time services are switched on, organisations will start paying for them. Where an Audit might present a risk of a single large bill, unchecked growth of cloud services usage can represent un-necessary spend each and every month.

For example, an audit uncovers £200k of compliance penalties – this will then needed to be paid within an agreed timeframe (E.g. 90days), but an audit rerun would normally be between 2-5 years.

Within cloud services, with the absence of effective SAM, additional consumption of £5-10k per month could be present which could then present an annual ‘audit cost’ of £60k per annum or £180k over 3yrs.

“Internet of Things (‘IoT’) will be great for our business”

The internet of things is starting to take shape and there is certainly a lot of benefits derived from additional information being produced from traditional ‘non-connected’ devices.  A recent example was how Rolls Royce utilise multiple sensors to determine potential failures of aircraft engines and remediation of these all conducted through Azure services.

What needs to be a consideration of this is what associated IT services will be affected.

  • Data:

Intel CEO predicted that around 40TB of data will be produced for every 8 hours of driving autonomous cars.  The connected sensors will produce data – possibly not to this extend! – that needs to be stored, analysed and managed accordingly.  ‘Big data’ is still a real challenge for customers as there are challenges in where to store it, but more importantly what to do with it to deliver value to the business

  • Indirect Access:

As we have seen with the SAP cases against Diageo and Anheuser Busch / ABinBev, indirect access of the benefits of a software vendor is a major headache for customers.  Primarily because the specifications are so unclear coupled with how metrics and licensing can be applied.  IoT will exacerbate this issue and as such deep technical architectural assessments will be required to ensure organisations can protect and defend themselves against this.

How Will This Affect You?

As with certain simplification approaches, some customers may prefer the flexibility to procure individual products rather than bundles.  In the main it does allow customers that strategically utilise Microsoft for the medium to long term and will be moving to cloud services a more simplified route to market.

As with cloud services, the processes and governance that sit around your organisation’s utilisation of cloud services is critical to get right.  By not addressing this in advance of cloud migration this could adversely affect the commercial exposure an organisation may experience.

How Can SCC Help?

Why not contact SCC to understand your current licence effectiveness with our free of charge service; Microsoft Licensing Health Check service that can look at your requirements and how the licensing investment matches this including future strategy considerations.

Our professional services and datacentre services teams can also work with you to understand how your technical requirements can be best matched to technologies such as Microsoft including implementation services.

Contact SCC today: [email protected] or [email protected] to ask about our Software Strategy Service offerings that will assist in determining software and IT impact to strategy or proposed direction initiatives.

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