It’s Official: New MEGABYTE Act Becomes Law and It’s Going to Save Money

megabyte actOn July 29, 2016, the MEGABYTE Act of 2016 was signed into law.

Last Friday, Public Law No: 114-210 m, also known as the Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act of 2016 or the MEGABYTE Act of 2016, was officially signed into law.

This new legislation directly affects all U.S. government agencies and follows on earlier legislation that has gone into effect over the past two to three years.

Why the MEGABYTE Act Is Different

Although complementary, the MEGABYTE Act differs from previous legislations such as The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA FY 2015), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidelines.

While FITARA and NDAA FY2 015 focus on IT issues related to staffing, coordinated purchasing, IT hardware inventory, and other areas, the MEGABYTE Act lays out what agencies are expected to document and report.

This documentation and reporting deals specifically with IT software license savings that can be achieved with better visibility and efficiencies.

The full MEGABYTE Act of 2016 text can be found here.

Sponsored by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, the MEGABYTE law requires that government CIOs “of each executive agency must report to the OMB, beginning in the first fiscal year after this Act’s enactment and in each of the following five fiscal years, on the savings from improved software license management.”

The specific requirements that are laid out for agency CIOs are great steps to getting a handle on what software is installed within the agency.

MEGABYTE Act Cost Savings

In my 21 years’ experience as a Gartner Research Director advising public and private sector on IT and software asset management (SAM) programs, I’ve found that an organization without any best practices in place could yield savings of up to 30 percent in cost avoidance and savings in the first year.

Savings will decline in subsequent years as the environment is tightly managed, but the increased visibility will continue to reap savings in other IT domains.

However, OMB and GAO already have best practices in place. They have centrally negotiated contracts and pricing—not to mention a culture that adheres to policies—which will be a huge advantage as agencies begin to move into compliance with this law.

In my professional opinion, I would expect the government could save anywhere from three to five percent by monitoring the installation and usage of software, and up to 20 percent by implementing a complete ITAM/SAM program.

When you consider that OMB reported that government agencies spent $9 billion in 2015 on new software licenses, the savings from software usage monitoring and reallocation of software could be significantly more than $450 million in the first year of this five-year legislation.

LANDESK is no stranger to the importance of ITAM/SAM solutions. Learn why LANDESK was named ITAM Champion by Info-Tech this year!

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Former Gartner Analyst Talks About LANDESK’s ITAM Champion Award

As the global leader in user-centered IT management, LANDESK was thrilled to be named Champion in the IT Asset Management Vendor Landscape Report by the Info-Tech Research Group earlier this month! (Read the full report below.)

LANDESK CEO, Steve Daly, commented, “LANDESK offers the most comprehensive IT and software asset management software out there, and we love that prominent influencers are pointing IT and finance leaders our way.”

Being recognized on this level inspired us to sit down with a few members of the LANDESK ITAM team to get their reactions to the report. Below are some questions and answers from ITAM evangelist, Patricia Adams.

1. Prior to  joining LANDESK, you were a research director at Gartner for 21 years. Why did you decide to join LANDESK?

After a long tenure with Gartner, I began reflecting on the next step in my career and realized that I wanted to try being on the vendor side. I spent most of my career advising vendors on functionality that customers were looking for in tools or problems that they wanted to solve. With this knowledge of the marketplace, I felt that LANDESK was the vendor best positioned to offer a complete one-stop-shop for ITAM.

With discovery and inventory, client management, security, and service desk, LANDESK had solutions that supported adjacent problems that ITAM/SAM either intersected with or provided data for. Helping to build the best ITAM complete solution in the market was a very appealing challenge.

2. Talk about the Info-Tech report. What are the big takeaways for you about the ITAM space? 

I’m not aware of any other IT research firms that conducted a comprehensive analysis of the ITAM/SAM market and graphically depicted it. Info-Tech looked at the different aspects of what asset managers need from a solution and evaluated the vendors against 15 different criteria.

The criteria are all meaningful to a successful ITAM program. Just focusing on one or a few elements, such as discovery and normalization complex licensing, is not enough to completely understand and differentiate the tools. Knowing whether you are buying a solution that will address the majority of your asset-related problems instead of just one or two of them is critical when purchasing a solution.

3. You attend a lot of events and talk to a lot of customers. What are the biggest trends in ITAM right now? Which way are the industry winds blowing?

One of the top ITAM trends that has persisted since 2008 is software vendor audits. I would love for this problem to be solved in the next decade, but vendors keep changing their licensing models. Additionally, new technologies are introduced that suddenly change the rules of the licensing game. We saw this happen with virtualization and more recently with broad adoption of cloud applications. BYOD and Bring Your Own App (BYOA) are also posing new challenges to asset managers.

BYOD and Bring Your Own App (BYOA) are also posing new challenges to asset managers.

Other trends that are going to have an impact on ITAM within the next five to ten years are Internet of Things (IoT), open source software, and artificial intelligence. However, the greatest impact will be felt on the security side. With increasing numbers of security incidents, it is paramount that asset managers adopt a proactive stance to reduce corporate risk and support the security goals.

4. Why should IT departments consider an ITAM solution right now?

One of my favorite sayings is that ITAM is equivalent to an insurance policy. Insurance is a key piece of any corporate strategy. When an event happens, such as an audit, a company will be very happy that they invested the time and effort to have visibility needed to respond to an audit.

The average cost of an audit for a medium-sized business runs about $250K,  just for internal expenses. Justifying the investment in an ITAM/SAM program after three or four audits, especially if they happen annually, can be very easy.

5. What’s your favorite movie ever? 

I’m so happy you asked about movies instead of favorite song (although I am really enjoying the soundtrack for the Broadway musical Hamilton right now). Hmm… favorite movie… right now I am enjoying a lot of the foreign films that Delta Air Lines has on their movie menu. The movies all have subtitles so it makes it hard to work at the same time because I have to read to follow the plot.

Click the banner below to learn why LANDESK was named Champion by Info-Tech this year!

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Mobility Management and its Role in Unified Endpoint Management

It’s an annual event that we look forward to at LANDESK, the release of the Gartner Magic Quadrants (MQ) for our various solutions.  For me, the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites is special.  Not because of the days we invest preparing our response (it’s a lot of work), but the MQ gives an opportunity for those of us who live with these products day-in/day-out a chance to step back realize how fast this area of technology moves, and what it means to our customers.

It makes sense, when you think about it: Users exchange their mobile devices every 12-18 months, and that can cross two generations of smartphone models.  With that compressed lifecycle, and the evolution of functionality that comes with each new generation of device, keeping up with the technology is worthy of an annual assessment like the MQ.  Mobile, on its own (and that’s how the EMM Magic Quadrant is determined) is so dynamic, so when we see the MQ publication, we are always happy to see the market assessment aligning with big challenges our customers are looking for us to help them solve.

One of the biggest changes this past year has been the desire to consolidate the toolsets needed to manage everything users carry – from their laptop (and it could be Windows, Mac, etc.) to their smartphone/tablet/other (Android, iOS, etc.). The term is “Unified Endpoint Management”, and we have been hearing a lot from our customers about the desire for clients of all types (traditional and mobile) to be managed together in this way.  It enables user-centered IT management with huge efficiencies. This is the first time that UEM rankings have been part of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant criteria.

For the IT admin, it offers a single system for configuring and managing everything a user carries.  A truly integrated UEM solution, such as LANDESK Management Suite 2016, delivers this in such a way that make it super easy to see, configure and manage all the devices in a user’s portfolio, together and simultaneously.  For the end user, they can count on consistent access across the screens they use, because the policies are configured uniformly based on their role, not the device itself.  Simple, easy user management.

We don’t want to spoil the fun of reading the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management for yourselves, but we’re extremely proud of our inclusion and move into the “Visionaries” quadrant of the MQ (no vendor saw as significant a shift in the positive direction)!  We’re also honored to have been recognized for our Unified Endpoint Management approach, which leverages our historic strength in Client Management Tools, and brings EMM into the same LDMS product for a truly integrated solution.  Take a look Gartner’s assessments, then take a look at all the devices your users carry.  Do you have all the visibility you need to confidently manage it all?

Pound for Pound Strongest Leader in 2015 Gartner Client Management Tools Magic Quadrant

I spent roughly sixteen years practicing martial arts. I learned several styles that included self-defense, stand up fighting techniques, grappling, and how to throw an opponent. I also learned to use several weapons—yes, I do have nun-chuck skills. 🙂 Sometimes I like to watch Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights, but not because of the violence or blood. I’m really more of a pacifist. I prefer to watch the smaller guys compete in the octagon. They’re faster, more agile, land more strikes, and are far more strategic and technical in the way they fight than the heavy weight competitors. However, you won’t see a fight between a featherweight and a heavy weight in the MMA. It’s just not considered a fair fight.

Battle in the Magic Quadrant Octagon

How LANDesk is addressing Gartner’s Top 10 Technology Trends

This past week I attended Gartner’s CIO Symposium (ITxpo) in Orlando, Florida where Gartner announced their Top 10 Technology Trends for 2013.

The first item on the list was the rise of mobile devices. Gartner estimates that by 2015 the tablet will own 50% of the market with Microsoft-based tablet holding only 50% of the market share—a stark change from their dominance in the desktop space.  Other tech trends included the shift from native applications to HTML5 based applications, the personal cloud, the Internet of things, Cloud computing, strategic Big Data, Actionable Analytics, virtual appliances and Enterprise app stores.

The good news is that LANDesk is in an excellent position to address these issues. During over the last year we’ve identified a lot of what was on Gartner’s list. For example, we realized that the mobile devices will make up the majority of user devices in the future. That’s one of the reasons we acquired Wavelink. This company gives us a strong mobile platform to build off and allows us to develop a strategy to synchronize traditional desktop management with mobile device management and mobile enterprise applications.

We also been moving down that path to HTML5 based applications with our new HTML5 Enterprise Remote Control application and our new HTML5-based LANDesk SmartVue application. We’ve seen the trend of physical appliances being replaced with virtual one, which is why we have included additional virtualization support in our 9.5 release of LANDesk Management and Security Suite. We will also be offering a virtual appliance version of our cloud services appliances in the near future.

Since we also know the importance of using data to predict what is happening in your environment and make better business decisions, we acquired Managed Planet earlier this year in order to integrate their tools into our products.

Finally, we have a very exciting initiative at LANDesk that will address the personal cloud and Enterprise app store tech trends, which we feel LANDesk is well positioned to solve these problems in the workplace. LANDesk was recently issued six new patents, and several of these patents allows’ LANDesk to take a leadership position in data sharing and distribution as well as enterprise application delivery.

LANDesk is making some amazing strides in addressing the needs of the market today and future challenges that IT faces. We’re developing some great new products that will help us solve many of these technology trends and keep us in a leadership position well into the future.

LANDesk is at Gartner ITXPO

LANDesk is at Gartner ITxpo.  Come find us at MP9 to talk about LANDesk’s latest releases for Management Suite, Security Suite, Mobility Manager and Service Desk.  We’ll have experts on staff to discuss zero touch AMT provisioning to zero-call software request resolution and everything in between.

LANDesk’s Jesse Frye (@jessefryeutah) and Ian Aitchison (@ianaitchison) will also be hosting a solution provider session Wednesday afternoon at 3:15 in Dolphin-Southern II.  They’ll be speaking on increasing organizational productivity through “user oriented management.”

For updates on the show or our latest product releases, follow us on @LANDesk on twitter or like us on the LANDesk Facebook page.

Big News at Gartner Symposium – A Sneak Peek

Network World recently reported on a survey finding which stated the average enterprise user will have 3.47 devices by 2015 and 6.58 devices by 2020.

Network World recently reported on a survey finding which stated the average enterprise user will have 3.47 devices by 2015 and 6.58 devices by 2020. For me, it’s already difficult enough to juggle a smartphone, laptop and tablet, so imagining carrying at least 6 devices within a decade is a bit daunting. And that’s just from the end-user perspective. Just imagine how IT feels!

Not only does IT have to consider the management, compliance and security of all of these devices but then there is the issue of cost. With the standard device-based pricing model applied to 6 devices per user in an enterprise a few thousand, the numbers don’t look good…

Clearly, the consumerization of the enterprise and BYOD model have changed IT forever. Isn’t it time the pricing model changed too?

We think so and will be making an announcement next week at the Gartner Symposium ITXPO in Orlando. We are thrilled about the changes we have in the works and believe they mark the way forward for the IT industry as a whole. If you’re in Orlando, please stop by and visit us at booth #MP9 or better yet, add our speaking session to your agenda! On Wednesday, October 24 at 3:15 p.m. in Dolphin Southern II, LANDesk experts will be presenting the session, “Increase Organizational Productivity through User-Oriented Management.”

If you won’t be in Orlando, stay tuned for our announcements via our Press Releases page.

Gartner ITSSM Magic Quadrant 2012: Creative Fun with Sea-monkeys and Jellyfish

There’s been lots of commentary about the Gartner ITSSM Magic Quadrant 2012. (You can download your free copy of the report here.) And though much has been said, I’d like to add my own perspective from a Vendor’s perspective.

First, a quick summary of what’s new in the 2012 report:

  • Gartner raised the focus of their selection for the new ITSSM Magic Quadrant report. Only vendors with sufficient large reference customers in both SaaS/Cloud and OnPremise forms, using the solution to a high level of mature ITIL/ITSM discipline were considered—making it vastly different from the 2010 report. The bar has also been raised. Significantly.
  • In the 2012 report, not one vendor is recognized by Gartner in the Leader Quadrant. The perfect space “up and to the right” is conspicuous in its emptiness. Many of the vendors that appear in the 2012 report have moved noticeably further back and to the left from their position in the 2010 report.
  • The big platform vendors and those who spend more on marketing than they earn in income to raise their IPO profile are shown to be no ‘better at ITSM’ or different, or innovative than anyone else. Many vendors are struggling more than before to match the new expectations of a leader. Gartner does not perceive any vendor to be innovating; no one owns the market or is noticeably ahead.

So, is the Gartner MQ even of any value?

As a vendor I can state, absolutely, yes. Many potential customers limit their starting shortlist to names in the report. As a result, just being on their list gives someone many more opportunities to win new customers and grow their customer base. So, yes, being listed matters.

Is it a good report? For LANDesk, yes, it is. We’re the only vendor in four Gartner Magic Quadrants for all four LANDesk solutions: ITSM, Systems Management, Security Management, and Mobility Management.

It’s also great for our LANDesk Service Desk/ ITSM solution. As a business that has transformed itself, grown up through a series of acquisitions, and has grown itself a great new cloud, this is validation that we’re doing the right things. LANDesk is the only vendor in both the 2012 report and the 2010 report that has noticeably shifted “up and to the right.” Of course we wish we were in the leader quadrant, but since Gartner redefined the space, they’ve given us a wide-open, clear field to aim for. We know we can keep our “up and to the right” momentum going. If this was the Olympics, we’re Mo Farrah, rounding the first corner of the final lap with a full tank of gas and a master plan. And everyone knows where he finished.

The cynics and critics say surely this is all just market/analyst “fluff.” Those who invest most in Gartner, appear, right?

The biggest influence in this report isn’t money, spin, fluff, polish, or smoke and mirror. What Gartner refers to above all else are comments from customers. Both those provided as references, and those encountered in meetings, events, and inquiry calls. What those customers say counts. So, while all vendors have some cautions in the report, they’re based on what customers told them. The comments may not be representative across the whole customer base but that’s how the game is played and all vendors are evaluated the same. Personally, I’d rather have some of LANDesk’s cautions than issues other vendors have to address. So if you are a LANDesk customer who spoke to Gartner, I’d like to publically thank you for your willingness to talk, your honesty, and your support. We will work to keep moving our product “up and to the right.”

So, what can you take away from the 2012 report?

  1. There is opportunity for innovation. Watch this market as we all fight to claim that empty space up right. It’s going to get creative, innovative, and lots of fun.
  2. Many usual suspects and vendors solutions struggle when you try to implement well and fully in the deeper ITSSM water—watch for those slipping down and to the left.
  3. Don’t base your selection solely on this report. It’s like taking a beaker of water from the sea in two locations. It’s definitely going to always be wet and salty. But you may have jellyfish or sea monkeys when you take your own drink out. But at least you’ve got expectation and relative understanding.

That’s all. See you up and to the right!