SAP Licensing, Indirect Access and the Internet of Things

7 Dec 2016

How does indirect access impact SAP licensing?


Certero has shared insight into indirect access and the key to getting to grips with it recently. Today we will look at indirect access in the respect of SAP licensing. Indirect access in terms of SAP licensing is where a non-SAP application accesses SAP data, typically through a single user account.

Philip Adams, the chairman of the SAP, UK & Ireland User Group, recently addressed this topic during his keynote at the SAP user Group conference. During the event, Adams warned off the dangers of indirect access for organizations looking to incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT) into their business strategy.


What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of Things, often referred to as IoT, relates to devices connecting over the internet which allows them to talk to us, applications and one another. An example in the home is smart meters, which are used to control heating. These smart meters allow you to remotely turn your heating off and on, and turn it up or down. Smart meters can even communicate with smart phones to monitor when a device has left the home and consequently turn the heating off.

In the business world, even if you do not directly deal with technology, IoT devices are expected to have a massive impact on how you do business. With audiences connecting and interacting in new ways, organizations have access to greater data for more targeted engagements. IoT can also help to improve efficiency and productivity by supporting organizations to accomplish large-scale tasks faster and with greater precision.


How does the IoT Influence Indirect Access?

Commenting on the way all things are now becoming interconnected through the IoT, Adams pointed out that, “SAP systems are becoming increasingly exposed to new and different usage. People within organizations are designing new applications and new business processes without realizing the potential impact that has on their use of SAP and the corresponding impact that might have on their licensing positions. I think we need clarity in this area.”

Indirect access rules from the likes of SAP and Oracle are notoriously vague and whereas this is likely to have caused some problems to date, the potential to fall foul of this will increase many fold in the future, due to the low-cost and proliferation of new IoT devices. A lack of security in IoT devices opens the door for indirect access, with the inability to lock down devices and manage access – similar to if an organization does not have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy implemented.


Measure and Prevent Indirect Access

With indirect access likely to increase due to IoT, it has become crucial to take measures to prevent it in your business. In order to detect, measure and prevent indirect access, organizations need to consider two factors.

  • The first concerns the ability to detect all the devices on your network, either IoT or more traditional devices.
  • Whereas, the second is about your capability to measure which of these devices are actually making indirect access to your datacentre software.

How can you manage indirect access?

Fortunately, Certero’s products can meet both of these requirements. With class-leading IT asset discovery (even down to telling you how much ink is left in a printer cartridge), you can be sure you will discover everything on your IT estate – even IoT devices. While, the comprehensive usage metering will quickly identify which devices are trying to access your license controlled software, enabling you to investigate and act accordingly to ensure you do not become non-compliant.

Get in touch with Certero to find out we can support you in preventing indirect access. You can also develop your understanding of SAP licensing to help face any licensing challenges and software audits.

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