Software Asset Management is key to cloud cost control

In recent years, moving workloads to the cloud has been the top priority for many organizations, large and small. Now businesses, governments, institutions and NGO’s are running cloud computing, they are moreover surprised by the cost they are facing.
Recent studies show (and I’m quoting a ZDNet article here):
“Eight percent of respondents to the RightScale survey were spending more than $12 million on the public cloud. Another 15 percent were spending $2.4 million to $12 million. It’s not surprising that 64 percent of respondents to RightScale’s survey had cost savings as their top cloud initiative. Enterprises also want better financial reporting on cloud costs as well as central teams to broker services.”

With that said, is there a role for Software Asset Management (SAM) in cloud cost control? Yes there is and it is quite a crucial one.

SAM cloud cost optimization

Before you move to the cloud
Cost control and cost savings, both on premises and in the cloud, are only possible with deep insights in software and usage. Let me explain a bit. Often organizations know which are their most crucial business applications. Because these applications are crucial to the business, the resources are oversized to make sure no one within the business complains about performance issues. But oversizing in the cloud is an equivalent to overspending and not being necessary.
Secondly, there are many more workloads within the IT Infrastructure. But what workloads, what applications, are use by whom and how many hours a day. Again, most organizations don’t really know. By applying a descent Software Asset Management, this will provide the detailed insights on application usage and accompanying computer, storage and database needs. With this insight one is able to size the cloud workloads correctly and predict the cloud cost with certainty.

Whilst you use the cloud
Having computer, storage, databases and applications running in the cloud it is not always easy to keep track of usage and cost. Sure, if you have a ‘one vendor’ policy, most cloud vendors have services to help you. But when you are using Microsoft Azure, a bit of AWS, Google services for the desktop and a handful other SaaS solutions, you easily get lost.
Software Asset Management, with the proper tools or as a managed solution, will give you a holistic and multi-vendor overview for cloud and hybrid infrastructures. Just so you know what is running where, how and how intensive workloads are used and what the costs should look like.

Business IT (shadow IT)
Besides what organizations ‘know’ about their cloud, there is also what they do not know. What we used to call ‘shadow IT’ is now Business IT; departments or business units with specific business needs not always ask IT to help them. Sometimes it is easier to swipe a credit card and subscribe to a Software as a Service to quickly fulfil their needs. But as an organization you want to know if this Business IT exists. After all, the costs are there and you better calculate them into your cloud budget (the question if the Business IT is a ‘wanted’ solution goes beyond SAM).

Key to …
Software Asset Management is the coherence between people, process and technology. It provides insight, overview and control of the IT environment; hardware, software, cloud services and usage across on-premises and cloud infrastructures. With that, SAM is the starting point and key success factor for cloud cost control.

March, 2019