The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the manner in which organizations conduct their business. A growing number of devices connected to the internet (a whopping 26 billion devices by 2020) will be accompanied by the associated challenges in managing this huge interconnected device and software ecosystem. Organizations should specifically watch out for the ramifications in software licensing models that will need to adapt to emerging IoT scenarios in the near future.
Software Asset Management (SAM) Best Practices Will Be Driven by IoT Even as Organizations Beef Up Their Digital Transformation Initiatives
The proliferation of IoT enabled devices across the enterprise – not to mention the rising adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Bring Your Own Identity (BYOI) – will bring with it issues pertaining to data privacy, security, and sustainability of service delivery models. While organizations are hurriedly introducing products that can seamlessly connect with each other and communicate using cloud based systems, there is very little emphasis on access control and data safety. With this mad rush towards IoT enablement, management of enterprise data assets can become quite a challenging task, if organizations do not devise a robust readiness plan.
It is but obvious that IoT will expand the scope of enterprise software asset management. Whether on cloud or on-premise, SAM professionals need to take into cognizance the implications of challenges brought about by IoT and set up a robust framework comprising the best tools, systems, and resources within the organization.
The Big IoT Threats to IT Asset Management
IoT primarily brings with it three main challenges as discussed above – data privacy, data security, and service sustainability. Billions of devices connecting to one another implies transmission of a humongous amount of sensitive data such as medical records, financial data, and other personal information; and this data will need to travel with utmost privacy across the internet. Software asset managers need to ensure that they gather only such data as is relevant to the organization and fully control movement of this data on public networks. Data privacy is of utmost importance especially now with the coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across the European Union.
Data security in the context of IoT essentially refers to device control. IoT will open doors to newer enterprise assets with different licensing requirements and device security will be of paramount importance. Organizations need to track movement of these IoT enabed devices within the enterprise and put in place the necessary mechanisms to mitigate costs arising on account of device loss or theft.
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The other big challenge is in service sustainability. Organizations need to focus on ensuring the sustainability of the IoT ecosystem including management of devices and software, portability and aggregation of data, and control over the internal source code.
Key Recommendations to Software Asset Managers
With the IoT fast gaining traction, software asset management is no longer an optional activity and SAM professionals should drive their organization’s IoT initiatives by provisioning for data privacy and security. The following recommendations will be well worth considering in the context of enterprise asset management:
- IoT will necessitate heightened need for compliance and enterprise risk management – devise robust compliance and risk management strategies
- SAM best practices will be all about data privacy – closely monitor all software assets that collate and store data and identify the resources that have access to this data
- End-of-life IT assets run the risk of data falling in the wrong hands – make plans for appropriate disposal of enterprise assets especially those containing confidential data and/or information
- SAM in the IoT parlance will emphasize on data safety – understand and adhere to the existing data protection laws such as the GDPR
With a large number of organizations yet to foray into the vast world of IoT, digital IT asset management is one area where enterprises are taking baby steps to seamlessly transition into their long and arduous IoT journey. A recent research by Persistence Market Research highlights the growing importance of SAM services and presents an eight year forecast of the SAM market for the period 2018 – 2026. As per the report projections, the global software asset management market is slated to witness a robust growth rate of 11% during the said period. This growth stems from an increase in global market revenue from about US$ 850 Mn in 2017 to US$ 2,025 Mn by the end of 2026.