With a new year comes an inevitable deluge of predictions for the year ahead. Keen to get in on the act, I proudly present, with no little fanfare, five things to expect in Software Asset Management in 2014!

1. More vendors taking their software to market via cloud-only offerings

There is great appeal to software vendors to adopt this approach to software delivery; it still means the existing sales channel can be leveraged, whilst also sweating the assets of their software through metered billing. Additionally, the opportunity to pirate software will be vastly curtailed.

2. More software vendor audits

As if to follow up the last point about sweating assets; those companies that don’t have cloud delivery as part of their mid-term strategy will realize that existing titles in the market need to make money – and so until most (if not all) software is cloud based, then expect software vendors to crank up the audit count to squeeze every last drop out of older titles.

3. More cloud companies going into administration (and the associated pain)

What happened at 2E2 in the last 12 months should serve as a warning – cloud service provision is not a license to print money; it is a business where quality of service is measured in up time and responsiveness to client’s needs. Be warned!! Have contingencies in place to ensure that your data is accessible in some manner, even if the cloud provider goes into administration. Attempting to write such assurances into an existing service contract will be deemed moot if the cloud company ceases to exist – you can’t sue a dead man!

4. The first (public) outing of a cloud provider over-charging a client

I have already heard of anecdotal evidence of this occurring; a cloud provider over-charged a client who had placed metering software onto their IT estate and were able to counter the exorbitant fees the cloud provider demanded. A point to note: The client, after proving that the cloud service provider got their figures wrong for that year, then had to eat humble (and fiscal) pie and also make amends for fees charged over the last five years!

5. Software re-selling to be legally challenged in North America

We have already seen two court cases in the EU (one against Oracle and one against SAP) uphold the principle that software can be re-sold without the express permission of the software vendor (subject to certain terms and conditions). The argument being made that it is anti-competitive behavior on behalf of the software vendors to write this into their licenses and contracts. I know how a good legal drama is enjoyed in the USA; so I’m expecting a repeat case in the next 12 months…

All the more reason for software vendors to move their software to cloud-only offerings.

Whatever else 2014 brings, I hope it is your year for happiness and prosperity.

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Jason Keogh is an internationally recognized subject matter expert in Software Asset Management (SAM) and a 20+ year veteran of the IT industry. Jason has a wealth of experience in desktop and datacenter technologies, particularly with giants Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. Jason founded the leader in the discovery inventory space, iQuate in 2002 and acted as CEO and CTO there until 2014. Jason is now VP of Product for 1E, the leader in Software Lifecycle Automation and leads the SAM vision for the company. He is a contributor to the IT Asset Management process standard ISO 19770-1, a co-editor of the Software Identification Tag standard ISO 19770-2 and the editor of ISO 19770-3, the new international standard for defining and managing Software License Entitlements. Jason is a regular blogger and an entertaining and thought provoking speaker who talks several times a year at SAM, ITAM and Procurement events internationally. Jason lives near Dublin, Ireland with his wife Alyson and their three sons.