|How long has your company been in Commercial and Procurement Services?
|Area of Focus/ Specialism(s):
Civica (https://www.civica.com/en-gb/) is a market-leading specialist in business critical software applications, digital solutions and managed services that help teams and organisations around the world to transform the way they work. Combining exceptional customer focus, experience and commitment, Civica supplies more than 3,000 major organisations in 10 countries around the world.Cloud Optimisation: Civica’s Cloud Optimisation service helps customers maximise the value of their public cloud environments and gain transparent control of costs,You’ll be able to improve governance, manage spend (including internal re-charge), reduce risk, and increase the value your organisation gets from its public cloud deployments. After launching in late 2017, the service is already managing millions of pounds worth of cloud spend from a significant number of satisfied customers. We typically see an initial monthly spend reduction of 20-40%, which is followed up by significantly improved governance, BI and reporting to support business functions.Software Asset Management (SAM): Civica delivers SAM managed services and tactical engagements ranging from licensing optimisation to full management of application portfolios. Civica’s SAM Managed Service works in partnership with our customer’s IT team, and is part of an organisation’s information technology strategy. The goals are to right-size software costs as well as limit business and legal risk related to ownership, whilst using the wealth of data available to maximise IT responsiveness and end-user productivity.
Civica’s aim is to take SAM beyond compliance reporting and contractual cost savings, and to let our customers make best use of the wealth of valuable data available to improve business decision making and agility.
Civica is in a unique position in comparison to the majority of SAM providers. On top of being an industry leading SAM practice, Civica is the UK’s leading IT Solutions organisation with more than 4,000 employees worldwide, spread across a broad range of SI practices including digital, BI, ITSM, managed services and application development.
|What is the biggest change you’ve seen in SAM since you started in this discipline?
The volume of organisations that are moving their datacentre infrastructure to cloud is undoubtedly the biggest change I’ve seen. The rate at which this is happening is not just because of technological advances but because of the benefits that the technology can deliver. However this is highlighting long-standing immaturities in ITAM, leading not only to big bills but a failure to realise the benefits and expected outcomes.
This is driving us to help our customers in ways we haven’t been able to in the past, and seeing SAM services focused on traditional license compliance become less valuable. Instead, SAM solutions are now looking beyond compliance and ITAM discussions are now being held at higher levels within organisations than ever before.
When looking at Microsoft’s revenue for the past year, Azure is growing 90-100% per quarter (vs same quarter the previous year) and on-premise licensing is growing at less than 5%. The effect of this is that the volume of opportunities for helping organisations with licensing on-premise environments will fall off and the licensing implications of a hybrid environment will become more complex.
Spend is moving to consumption models and the cost impact is immediate rather than invisible. The interesting part of the SAM conversation is that the business feels the financial pain of wrong-sizing or over-specifying the requirement before deployment. This also includes the difficulties of re-charging a constantly changing OPEX spend back internally across multiple non-IT budget holders. The quick tidy up before a renewal or taking a hit and writing it off is over.
For the first time in my memory, a well-run SAM function can really inform the business and ensure value for money vs investment like never before. For the right SAM providers, that’s a great opportunity. If a company is bogged down by difficulties in governing and administering cloud use, they will struggle to focus on innovation which is probably why they choose SAM in the first place.
|What gives you the greatest satisfaction about being in SAM?
Effective SAM is creating a clear register of software assets which is then utilised by broader IT for areas such as security (why is this user logging in to an app he shouldn’t be at that time?), productivity (what is the behaviour of our successful salespeople?), software cataloguing (why do we have a high volume apps which we can’t manage and present risk?), BI (I have lots of data sources and I don’t trust any of them to make decisions on) or cloud migration (what apps should I be migrating and how). Delivering these full solutions and seeing the positive effect it has on our customer’s businesses based on the rich data available from SAM (especially when they originally approached us for a vendor baseline compliance position) is what gives us the greatest satisfaction.
|If you could change one aspect of SAM, what would it be?
SAM should be seen as the hero of IT, enabling and supporting organisations to embrace new technology and improving their end user’s productivity. Too often the perception is that SAM means software audit. Software Asset Management is all about understanding what software is being used in your business, and making the best use of it for a broad range of means. Software contract management is but one component of SAM, and audit response process is one component of software contract management, much in the same way as a financial audit to ensure your books are in order isn’t the sole focus of a finance function. The focus should not be on managing issues which are there, but on getting it right in the first place and avoiding these issues altogether.If an organisation has a compliance risk at the point an audit request comes in (which every vendor has the right to do when you agree to their conditions), it’s because they haven’t right-sized the licensing requirement for a change or project. There are plenty of experienced people who can help review your software processes and provide managed services for niche skills, ensuring these checks are done as part of day-to-day operations.
|How could someone contact you if they wish to discuss a SAM-related issue?