With software vendors trending towards cloud licensing at a rapid rate, companies across the globe are asking themselves the same questions.  How does Cloud affect my software asset management practices? What is the difference between on premise and cloud licensing terms? How can I ensure compliance?

Understanding software asset management in the cloud means understanding the changing license structure. Cloud licenses are almost exclusively subscription based, but some clouds do offer transferability of your on premise licenses to the cloud environment – check your current contract for terms and conditions.

Subscription based licensing, rather than perpetual on premise licensing that you own and deploy in-house, is the part of cloud licensing that most dramatically affects your Software asset Management and compliance. With perpetual licensing you controlled when new versions were released, but were also responsible for the costs to deploy the new version including the software upgrade costs if you did not already have a software protection or assurance plan in place. Tracking software is mostly done by the hardware asset.

With subscription licensing, cloud providers will move to the next version of software and you will be migrated along with the change, please note some providers do offer the ability to stay one version back. These costs are all included in your monthly or yearly charge with the vendor. Tracking software is primarily done by tracking the user.

With these different license types come different software asset management tracking and in today’s environment you will most likely be adapting your software asset management practices to track both on premise and cloud licensing for some time as mixed environments prevail.

Ensuring compliance means following your software asset management best practices regardless of where the license resides.

1. Inventory Frequently
2. Get Organized
3. Review and Evolve Policies and Procedures
4. Maintain your SAM Plan

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