With Adobe’s recent announcement that future provision of its Creative Suite will solely be cloud-based; and Dell also recently posting quarterly downturns in the region of 79%, are we in danger of relegating IT back to a utility status? And equally, where does this leave the world of Software Asset Management?
Granted, the improvements in hardware and software reliability have come on in leaps and bounds over the last fifteen years (BSOD anyone?!) but I fear we will have to up-skill our workforce if the prospect of reducing our local helpdesk seems like a decent cost-saving in light of a move to the cloud.
Certainly, the primary driver for Adobe’s bold move will see it re-shaping its relationship with VARs and LARs – no boxed product means a faster and more accurate revenue stream , and equally less chance of their software being pirated, but have all the options been fully thought through?
Adobe, will, at a stroke, have to take on a mammoth storage capacity to accommodate their worldwide customer-base; and anyone who has used their CS suite will know, media can get very rich (and very large) very quickly. Adobe’s model aside for one moment – we also have to ask, that if SAAS is the future, what method or means exists to independently verify metering reports that a SAAS provider might generate if usage is a metric a company wishes to adopt?
Adobe’s model will undoubtedly bring into sharp focus the need for companies to employ a strategic approach to the storage of data; six different versions of the Software Asset Management file in the cloud just won’t do; local storage will have to align with cloud service offerings.
Usage metrics will also need a local means of measurement, and also force companies to get their users to be more aware of session-based costs, or perhaps force an auto shutdown on an internet session if the window has remained inactive for a set period of time.
Finally though, if we do adopt cloud services – we also need to get very savvy with contracts management and the terms and conditions around which their failures are first diagnosed (and how quickly) and then either resolved, or replacement services are called upon.
Software Asset Management has an interesting time ahead – initial fears around a demise of the profession can be allayed; IT (and Software Asset Management) is not fool-proof just yet.