The advent of cloud computing was supposed to mark the beginning of the end for license compliance worries. Service providers would simply provision the computing resources needed from remote servers — and be charged accordingly. No hassle. No confusion. No inadvertent piracy. And no legal jeopardy.

To date, little practical guidance has been available on why and how to deploy SAM in a cloud environment. This whitepaper aims to fill a void and provide guidance on challenges organizations face in successfully integrating and performing SAM within their cloud computing environments.

Cloud computing takes many forms to serve diverse needs in the marketplace. And while it solves some license compliance challenges, it also creates new ones. That is where software asset management comes in.

Software asset management is already being adopted broadly within business environments. Given the benefits of SAM — cost and risk reduction, and increased operational efficiency, to name a few — that is unsurprising. Today, SAM is an integral part of the control framework of any well-run business.

Is SAM still necessary if a company moves to the cloud? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Although cloud services are different than traditionally distributed software in important respects — the need to effectively manage the lifecycle of software assets is equally compelling in a cloud environment.

Both SAM and cloud computing are complex concepts that are still evolving. Given the unique impact that various cloud approaches have on SAM, organizations will find that transitioning to the cloud will likely change the emphasis of their SAM programs. Organizations should carefully and proactively consider the impact their cloud strategy has on their SAM programs in general and specifically on their software licensing.

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