By John Emmitt
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) recently reached a settlement with a Belfast based architecture firm in which the firm paid £15,000 (about $24,000 USD) in damages and another £18,000 (~$28,700 USD) in true-up fees to purchase the necessary software licenses for Microsoft, Adobe and Autodesk products. The BSA represents independent software vendors such those mentioned above, as well as others including Progress Software, Symantec and The Mathworks.
In the article posted on the BSA website, Julian Swan, Director, Compliance Marketing EMEA, BSA, commented, “Unlicensed software often occurs when a company’s management regards software licensing as only an IT problem, rather than treating their software as a business asset. It is important for companies to implement software asset management (SAM) to ensure that not only are they legally compliant, but are deploying their software in the most cost efficient and productive way.”
Mr. Swan has hit the nail dead center in this statement. Maintaining software license compliance (reduced license liability risk) is only half of the equation when it comes to effective license management. The other half is cost reduction related to licenses, maintenance and improved operational efficiency. In another recent blog we discussed the Gartner survey results that showed that IT Asset Management (ITAM) programs lead to significant cost savings. In fact, the report says—
"Gartner research indicates that organizations that have effective ITAM disciplines will reap the benefit of cost savings, even in the current economic climate. More than 25% of the 66 respondents that measure ITAM savings indicate that their ITAM programs saved 10% to 20% of their IT spending in both the first year and over years two to five of their programs."
10% to 20% savings on IT spending (not just on software spending) every year for five years sounds pretty darn good. But, in many cases, organizations can do even better, and more organizations can achieve at least this level of savings. The reason is that many organizations are not yet at the level of optimized license management maturity where maximum cost savings can be achieved. One third of the organizations in the Gartner survey rated themselves as Level 3 in Gartner’s 5-level maturity model, which they define as— ITAM roles are defined and processes are applied consistently across the organization. ITAM data is reliable and is starting to be used to guide tactical IT decisions. This means that there are more savings to be had through optimizations such as automatically applying software product use rights (license entitlements) to reduce license consumption, and reharvesting existing licences. (Download this whitepaper to learn more).