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IT Asset Management Requires License Management Skills, Says Gartner

September 10, 2012
By Ashok Bindra, Software Licensing Contributor

In a recent report entitled, “Core Skills Your ITAM Team Needs Now,” research firm Gartner discusses the needed skills for IT asset management. In fact, in this report, the market watcher highlights skills ITAM teams are lacking today.  

As stated in this Gartner report, software asset management (SAM) and license optimization are some of the needed skills for ITAM. Hence, the report concludes that to reduce cost and risk, ITAM team must better manage software assets and optimize licensing.

Some of these needed skills were presented as a blog post on Flexera Software site by writer John Emmitt. On the technical front, he wrote, the report suggests that understanding of license models, software delivery models and metrics must be a top priority for the ITAM team. Because there is a plethora of license models and metrics in use today, understanding these models and deciding which model is best for your use case, when you have a choice, is certainly a skill you need to avoid over spending on licenses or risk being out of license compliance, explains Gartner’s report.

As an example, the report talks about SQL Server 2012 licensing, which has been changed to offer both core based licensing and Server + CAL for the standard edition. Not only do you need to understand these models, but you must also understand and apply the license entitlements that go along with them, says Gartner’s report.

As per Flexera Software blog, the Gartner report also mentions that “software as a service” (SaaS) and the cloud add further complexity, and do not necessarily remove the need to manage licenses. The blog post shows that some major ISVs, including Oracle, IBM and Microsoft, have BYOSL programs—Bring Your Own Software and License, to allow organizations to use the (on-premise) licenses they already own in a cloud environment such as Amazon EC2. Emmitt wrote, “They’re still your licenses, even if you are running the software in the Cloud, and your organization is still responsible for maintaining license compliance.”

On the financial end, the report indicates that ITAM is changing “from an inventory management function to a more strategic financial management role. The skills required here include the ability to assess the impact of hardware changes on your software licensing.

In essence, Gartner’s report concludes that ITAM is evolving into a strategic financial discipline that needs to have a keen focus on SAM and license optimization to control costs and maximize return on software investment, wrote Emmitt.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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