Top 10 Predictions for SAM in 2050

10 predictions for how SAM might look like in the year 2050

Software asset management (SAM) has been around for decades, but as technology continues to evolve, SAM is expected to undergo significant changes in the coming years.

Here are 10 predictions for how SAM might look like in the year 2050:

1. RPA-Driven SAM: By 2050, software asset management will likely be primarily driven by Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA uses automation technologies to mimic the back-office tasks of human workers, such as extracting data, filling in forms, and moving files. It combines APIs and user interface (UI) interactions to integrate and perform repetitive tasks between enterprise and productivity applications.

Today, a significant part of a SAM analyst’s work involves manually transferring data from disparate systems. This work is time-consuming, tedious, and repetitive. For example, they copy purchase data from an invoice into the SAM tool entitlement database. Or they manually update what software line items were renewed in a three-year software renewal agreement and which ones were discontinued. RPA presents a compelling use case to automate these distinct systems.

RPA-powered tools will be able to automatically track and manage software licenses, monitor usage, identify vulnerabilities, and optimize costs. RPA will help to reduce human errors and save time, allowing organizations to focus on more strategic initiatives. RPA-powered SAM tools will also be able to recognize patterns, detect anomalies, and make predictions, helping organizations plan for future software needs.

2. Cloud-Based SAM: In the coming decades, more and more software will be delivered and managed through the cloud. As a result, SAM tools will also move to the cloud, providing real-time visibility and control over software assets from anywhere in the world. Cloud-based SAM tools will offer greater scalability, flexibility, and accessibility, enabling organizations to manage their software assets more efficiently. In addition, cloud-based SAM tools will be able to leverage the power of the cloud to run advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms, providing organizations with valuable insights into their software usage and license optimization.

3. Blockchain-Powered License Management: Blockchain technology is expected to revolutionize the way software licenses are managed, eliminating the need for intermediaries and providing a transparent, secure, and immutable ledger of license ownership. Blockchain-powered license management will help to reduce fraud, piracy, and compliance violations, making it easier for organizations to manage their software assets. In addition, blockchain-powered SAM tools will be able to automate many of the tedious and error-prone tasks associated with license management, freeing up time for more strategic activities.

4. Real-time Compliance Monitoring: In the future, SAM tools will be able to monitor software usage in real time, flagging any compliance violations and automatically taking corrective action to prevent legal and financial risks. Real-time compliance monitoring will enable organizations to proactively identify and address compliance issues, reducing the risk of costly fines and legal disputes. In addition, real-time compliance monitoring will enable organizations to respond quickly to changing compliance requirements, ensuring that they always comply with the latest regulations.

5. Predictive Analytics for License Optimization: SAM tools will use advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to predict future software usage patterns and optimize license procurement, reducing costs and minimizing waste. Predictive analytics for license optimization will help organizations make better-informed decisions about their software assets, ensuring they use their licenses most cost-effectively. In addition, predictive analytics for license optimization will enable organizations to plan for future software needs, reducing the risk of over- or under-licensing.

6. Virtual Reality-Based Asset Visualization: By 2050, SAM tools may incorporate virtual and augmented reality features, allowing users to visualize their hardware and software assets in their data centers in 3D, track their usage, and identify potential optimization opportunities. This could include monitoring trends in software utilization and identifying unused assets. Virtual reality-based asset visualization will enhance user experience and engagement, making it easier for organizations to manage their software assets. In addition, virtual reality-based asset visualization will enable organizations to identify potential optimization opportunities that may not be visible in 2D.

7. Integrated IT Asset Management: As SAM becomes more complex, it will need to be integrated with other IT asset management functions, such as hardware inventory, network monitoring, and cybersecurity. This will require a unified approach to IT asset management, with a single source of truth for all assets. Integrated IT asset management will help organizations to reduce complexity, improve visibility, and enhance security. In addition, integrated IT asset management will enable organizations to make better informed decisions about their IT assets, ensuring that they use them most cost-effectively and securely.

8. Automated Software Updates: Similar to what we see with mobile apps today, in the future, software updates on servers and desktops will be automated and seamlessly integrated with SAM tools, ensuring that all software assets are up-to-date and secure. Automated software updates will help organizations to reduce the risk of security threats and vulnerabilities, ensuring that their software assets are always up-to-date. In addition, automated software updates will enable organizations to keep pace with the latest software features and functionality, enabling them to remain competitive in their markets.

9. Collaborative SAM: As software becomes increasingly distributed and decentralized, SAM tools will need to support collaboration between different stakeholders, such as developers, IT admins, and business owners, to ensure that software is used in a compliant and cost-effective manner. Collaborative SAM will enable non-SAM teams access to real-time monitoring and tracking of their software and hardware assets. This could shift the burden of tracking and optimizing assets away from a central SAM team. This can enable organizations to work together more effectively, reducing the risk of compliance issues and maximizing the value of their software assets. In addition, collaborative SAM will enable organizations to share best practices and lessons learned, improving their overall SAM capabilities.

10. SAM as a Service: By 2050, SAM practitioners will continue to be in demand, but few organizations will be able to retain skilled and experienced SAM professionals. SAM will be more likely to be available as a service, with managed service providers offering end-to-end SAM solutions that include licensing, procurement, usage tracking, compliance monitoring, and cost optimization. SAM as a service will help organizations to reduce the burden of managing their software assets, enabling them to focus on their core business activities. In addition, SAM as a service will enable organizations to leverage the expertise and experience of SAM professionals, ensuring that they are using their software assets in the most cost-effective and compliant manner.

These are just a few ways software asset management is expected to evolve in the coming decades. As technology continues to advance, it will be necessary for organizations to stay ahead of the curve and adopt new SAM tools and practices to remain competitive and compliant. Organizations that invest in SAM will be better equipped to manage their software assets, reduce costs, and drive innovation in the years to come. By embracing the future of SAM, organizations can position themselves for success in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

Additional Reading

1) What is robotic process automation? (RPA) – By IBM
2) The 26 Most Important Data Terms You Need To Know – By Ganes Kesari. May 3, 2021
3) The Future of Software Asset Management – Andre Guerreiro. March 8, 2016
4) Are SW bots and ITsec the future of ITAM’s Digital Journey? – By Frank Venezia. March 6, 2018
5) Getting Started with Managed Blockchain: A Beginner’s Guide – By Melinda Barber. February 19, 2023
6) The Gathering Storm – SAM in the Age of the Cloud – By Phil Hames. April 16, 2019