Best Argument: Not
Audience Favored: Not (71%)
How all software will be managed
Cloud is more than a buzzword and it's certainly no passing fad. And cloud for Software Asset Management is not only a good idea, it's how all software will be managed in the near future. It only makes sense to move to a cloud model for SAM when major software services and "as a Service" offerings have already moved to the cloud.
Remember that SAM encompasses more than just tallying licenses. Although license sprawl prevention and compliance are significant aspects of it, it also has to do with patch management, operating system deployment and security. The cloud is the perfect location for that kind of distributed computing need. The more geographically diverse your user population is, the greater the need for cloud-based SAM. Locally installed and maintained SAM can no longer handle the load.
For all of the fault-finding that analysts do with the cloud, it's the best of all worlds from a technical standpoint for delivery, monitoring, metering and deployment.
Pick the tools that work best for you
While there's no doubt that Software Asset Management is a vital tool for any organization – large or small – that wants to effectively manage their software throughout its lifecycle.
The traditional way to keep track of software – from cradle to grave – was to use a locally-installed Software Asset Management tools, but with the increased interest in cloud service, companies no longer need to have the tools installed locally on their networks.
But does the cloud offer a better Software Asset Management compared to a locally-installed solution? My take on this is that we should not instantly dismiss local solutions in favor of cloud services just because the cloud is new and there's a lot of buzz surrounding it. Not only are there a number of excellent solutions out there that can be locally installed, but these might well suit your needs better than a cloud option.
Treat cloud services in the same way you treat any other software – do your research, take test drives, and then pick the tools that work best for you and your organization.
Today's best option for SAM
Ken and Adrian did a nice job of breaking down this topic and giving our readers solid guidance on making good decisions around Software Asset Management. Ken highlighted the advantages of scalability and handling device diversity that you get with cloud solutions and Adrian brought up the benefits of control, security, and flexibility that you get with traditional installed software.
However, even Ken acknowledged that fully cloud-based SAM is still a maturing solution and that the companies that are using cloud-based SAM are mixing it with traditional installed software. As a result, the best option for SAM still looks like having the control of installed software, but combining it with the power of the Internet to manage distributed devices and occasionally taking advantage of cloud-based management consoles. That will likely be the case as long as there's still plenty of traditional software in the enterprise to manage.
So, Adrian gets the nod.