soul searching for software asset managers (Eng. only)

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Why do all major enterprises spend hundreds of millions or even billions on software? They buy the licenses from another organization that built it. They don’t get any guarantee that it is 100% safe or even a 100% fit to all the needs. And after a while this software creator also wants to check your IT environment to see and enforce legal utilization of the software. Not because of the fact that they cherish the relationship, no it’s all about the profit.

What if all the major companies would invest a percentage of this software spent in experts that build exactly that kind of software that would perfectly fit their needs and be as safe as possible internal. I’m sure that they wouldn’t bring all those funny and almost not to grasp different ways to compute the costs versus the return on investment. I guess that ROI would get a lot better than buying of the shelf with current conditions.

Where to get those experts? That’s the easy part; they’re currently at the software creators or unemployed (I guess the world economy would get a sure boost) or they started a new career doing something completey different. But one thing is sure; they are out there!

I know that in the end companies would start to sell their software again to other companies. Only then there’s an opportunity: keep it simple!

And why isn’t the cloud the solution? First: there is no cloud. Your data is just on one or more computing devices somewhere in the world! And in the cloud you’re subscribed to that software publisher for an indefinite time. As a real dealer he makes sure that you’re now hooked to his ‘stuff’ and he will make sure that whit very little effort on his side you will not be able to unhook youself. While in the past you bought your stuff in a local store and payed for the upkeep as long as you wanted it (and if you didn’t need the upkeep you just kept using the stuff you like without paying extra maintenance & support fees). But now you’re going to pay for the stuff and the upkeep on and on and on….And youre hooked without a real chance to rehab. I’ll spend another story on my ideas on cloudification and de-clouding (as will happen for sure, the same way we started outsourcing and now are insourcing or inhousing again).

And sure there are some idealistic people in this world that are trying to lead us and try to build a better place with more acceptable and understandable license models. The Campaign for Clear Licensing is such a group. Otherwise you can turn to the independent experts that will help you in battling the greedy software industry with the help of all the laws and rules that are out there to support you.

Am I digging the grave for my own industry (The SAM and license experts) now, you’ll think? Maybe… Only at the current rate things are (not) changing I guess the next 30 years we’ll see no change. And the influence of the big software publishers is so big that if you would make a move, their legal departments would find a way to push some more out of your business. So starting over and recreating the licensing business might just be just a beautiful dream.

I would like to see what you think would be necessary for an organization to become software creator independent and build the future inhouse!

Oh and while you’re thinking about this, please give me also an answer why we would give permits to drill for fossile fuels in nature reservoirs? Didn’t we agree on going to electrical transportation by 2025????

Nico Blokland

SAM evangelist and implementer.

In his long lasting career he helped out (and still does) numerous organizations before , during and after software audits to get the best result possible against the minimal costs. Currently he’s sharing his knowledge and expertise to help organizations in being ready for each software audit. In2SAM has a portfolio and experts that can help you with nearly all issues on IT & Software Asset management. Challenge us, you’ll be surprised.

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