Forward- thinking IT professionals are expanding their responsibilities and their expertise to include cloud applications. Building on the traditional fields of ITAM and SAM, new terms have arisen that incorporate SaaS and cloud applications. The terms SaaS Management (SM) and Cloud Application Management (CAM) address this rapidly growing technology.
ITAM, SAM, SM and CAM… What does this alphabet soup actually mean?
IT Asset Management (ITAM) – IAITAM defines this as “a set of business practices that incorporates IT assets across the business units within the organization. It joins the financial, inventory, contractual and risk management responsibilities to manage the overall life cycle of these assets including tactical and strategic decision making.” ITAM covers all IT resources (software, hardware, network services, etc.), and is the umbrella over SAM, SM and CAM. Organizations often have experts in each discipline, along with people who specialize telecommunications, mobile, and other slices of IT.
Software Asset Management (SAM) – Manage and optimize on-premise software applications (those packaged or downloaded, and installed on servers and clients) — meaning SAM is really a subset of ITAM.
SaaS Management (SM) – Manage and optimize Software as a Service (SaaS) applications like Dropbox, G Suite, Office 365, and Salesforce.
Cloud Application Management (CAM) – “Cloud applications” is another name for Software as a Service (SaaS). Note that “cloud management” conveys a broader meaning, often including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, as well as SaaS.
Past and Future of ITAM, SAM, SM and CAM
Traditional software — downloaded or bought in packaged form, and installed on servers and client computers — has long been the major area of focus for SAM professionals. SAM tools are powerful, but extraordinarily complex. They have extensive databases containing parameters for tens of thousands of software applications, and functionality to understand and manage these applications, often delivered in a densely-packed user interface.
But the future is very clear: on-prem software is giving way to cloud software. IT budgets are undergoing dramatic changes due to the explosive growth of SaaS applications. According to McAfee, 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions by late 2018. This tectonic shift requires new ways to think about managing software, and new tools to get the job done.
With the rise of “the cloud,” SAM as a discipline has taken the first halting steps to incorporate SaaS / cloud applications. And SAM tools have followed suit, adding nascent capabilities to view and manage at least some aspects of the highest-cost apps. But these steps are just the beginning of what is needed.
Alpin is SAM Reimagined for the Cloud
Alpin was built as a single dashboard across all cloud applications, prioritizing ease of use coupled with powerful capabilities.
Customers use Alpin to discover cloud applications in use across their organizations. Typically, companies know of only about 10% of their actual SaaS applications. Alpin invariably uncovers an enormous amount of shadow IT (often thousands of applications), in just two clicks.
And once those applications are brought into the light, customers use Alpin to manage cost, license compliance, renewals and security for SaaS subscriptions.