IT and Software Asset Management 2021: focus on savings


The report State of ITAM 2021 published by Flexera last October provides an overview of IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Software Asset Management (SAM) in companies with more than 1,000 employees*. Here is a summary of the main findings of this study.

One thing is clear: in 2021, ITAM must evolve beyond compliance. Organizations must ensure that their IT asset management is aligned with strategic IT initiatives. This is especially critical in today's uncertain economic climate, where IT environments are becoming increasingly hybrid and complex.


Saving money: the number one priority for companies

In the face of the Covid-19 crisis, some firms such as Gartner estimate that IT budgets will fall by -8 % in 2021 [1]. Thus, 4 of the 5 main SAM 2021 initiatives are focused on savings. Indeed, for 69 % of respondents, the priority for their company in 2021 is to optimize and reduce software spending.

An economic objective that, in more than half (52 %) of companies, will be accentuated in 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis. And 51 % of IT managers surveyed say their main focus for savings will be on optimizing software licenses to avoid future costs.

Finally, nearly three-quarters (74 %) of software asset management teams plan to focus more on public cloud spending over the next three years, with 70 % of them citing SaaS first.

Expensive software compliance audits

Why the focus on software assets? Because not only do almost all companies spend 25 % of their software spend on hidden costs [2]. 2] But because software vendors are increasingly conducting software audits in companies to verify license compliance. Microsoft is the most "aggressive" in this area: nearly half of companies (49 %) have been audited in the last three years.

The cost of compliance can be significant: a third of companies paid more than $500,000 last year due to software audits, with 10 % paying more than $5 million. Among the reasons: few SAM teams track software in the cloud (46 %), SaaS (35 %) or in containers (34 %).


* Flexera 2021 State of ITAM Report - Methodology: Report conducted with 461 professionals worldwide who manage and participate in ITAM and SAM processes in medium and large organizations with at least 1,000 employees.

1] According to Gartner estimates, May 2020 -

[2] According to a report by Flexera Software, November 2016 -

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