Software Asset Management – 2011

What is it about 2011 that makes me think…we have officially reached “the future”? 

Is it just that I’m now so old that when I thought forward to the future it was anything after 2010? Probably…but since old age seems to keep growing further and further away from me as I age, I refuse to accept that as the answer, LOL! 
What will happen to Software Asset Management in 2011? My crystal ball is far from perfect but I’ll take a stab at predicting this year anyway… 
Software audits rise – sorry, I know you’ve been hearing that threat for years but based on what I’ve seen so far in 2011 I think you can count on it as a fact. As the economy (and therefore companies) see an improvement I think you’ll find publishers starting to come forward to find out what you have (and haven’t) been doing in the past couple of years. They know you’ve been spending less money with them, so they want to make sure you’ve been licensing appropriately. Software audits are expensive (even if you’re fully compliant and don’t have to buy anything), so before you respond please reach out to us to see how we can help! 
Cloud Computing continues to grow and initially companies will manage these in a decentralized fashion (you buy it, you manage it). Hopefully some will remember lessons learned from the past and have these managed centrally by their Software Asset Manager. When I spoke on this topic at the IAITAM Conference two years ago there was a lot of uncertainty from Software Asset Managers as to who owned this responsibility – frankly the role that owns it is the role that steps forward to take control of it. My suggestion is that a saavy SAM Manager will realize that they add value to this function and this function adds value to their position. If you don’t have your controls in place for managing Cloud contracts, please talk to us about appropriate processes and controls. 
The role of the CIO will become more ambiguous. OK, so this isn’t SAM but it is important to SAM. I think we are clearly seeing the assimilation of IT into the whole of the business. Regardless of industry, IT is critical to all areas of the business and business owners are going to want more control of it. While a certain amount of centralization and segregation of duty is imperative to maintain controls and manage cost, I will not be surprised to see the role of the CIO disappear. However; on the flip side, I think you will start seeing more former CIO’s transition into the role of the COO (possibly a natural evolution as CIO’s have long been advised to become intimately familiar of all the business units they are serving). If this transition does take place, you might well see the role of SAM Manager follow suite (especially if the SAM Manager has taken on the Cloud Computing aspect). 
Is my crystal ball failing me or do others see the same? Let me know! 
One thing I do know for certain is that Cynthia Farren Consulting will launch an updated website in 2011 (OK, I cheated…since it already launched earlier this month). We tried to simplify matters and provide more valuable content – let us know how we did!
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