A staggering 700 cloud services are used on average in large enterprises today. Cloud computing has had many names such as SaaS and ASP but has always, at least at first glance, been seen as a holy grail in achieving software compliance. Of course cloud isn’t a panacea for compliance, it actually requires a rethinking of what being complaint actually means.
For software asset managers, the first complexity is managing the migration from on-premise deployment with traditional licensing to cloud delivery and user allocated licensing. Once migrated, the notion of a license becomes far less tangible in a world of subscriptions and user focused license models.
So, what happens when an organization’s licenses become less tangible and part of a large server, as they do with cloud and SaaS applications? This introduces some compliance risks, like access from new location & employees, plus account sharing. When licenses become less tangible, they get even more difficult to track, but the right processes in place can make this task more manageable. A software management system can make the tracking of both cloud and on-premise applications easier by centralizing the cost, deployment and overall management of these assets.
User-focused license models are appealing yet offer up some added complexities that firms must take into account when managing licenses. The risk of shadow IT grows as users sign up for online or cloud applications, as it is more difficult to monitor and provide authorization for such purchases. Although online solutions are much easier for employees to quickly set up, the approval process can be forgotten. This can be prevented by setting up a multi-layered approval process for cloud applications, which can be done through an asset management system like Vizor.
The bottom line is that proper maintenance and visibility of both physical and virtual applications is needed as part of this changing landscape. SaaS and cloud applications can reduce overall IT costs and simplify the system, when properly leveraged using a strong asset management system and a bit of strategy.