By John Lipsey
Automotive IT ran a great article recently, Licensing hell: Companies struggle to take control and reduce costs. It underscores the daunting yet essential task of software license management. The author, Michael Vogel, hit the nail on the head when he wrote that the sizeable benefits outweigh the cost and effort that go into more effectively managing these assets—that’s absolutely right. But, it takes a commitment by the organization and requires key executive sponsorship, as in the Daimler case, to make it happen. As stated in the article: Daimler’s example shows that a company has to commit resources to the reduction of its licensing costs if it is really determined to make changes.
Most IT organizations don’t have the time or resources to manually manage their software license estates--its much to time consuming and resource intensive to do that. Not to mention that in highly dynamic IT environments and with the constant changes taking place in vendor license models, its nearly impossible to manage software licenses with manual processes.
But what many don’t realize is that, with the right tools, they don’t have to. Automated software asset management and license optimization solutions can provide transparency into an enterprise’s license position to help ensure they stay in compliance with their license agreements, and prevent over-purchasing of software. It is especially critical to have this automation in place as companies consider moving into more complex virtual environments and the Cloud. Experton’s findings, referenced in this article, showed that more than half of corporate decision-makers at mid-sized companies, and a third at large organizations, feel out of control with respect to software license management—meaning they’re at risk for software audits and the associated unbudgeted trueup costs.
If the enterprise doesn’t proactively make software license management a top business priority, then significant risks, and the potential for over spending, will continually loom. The goal should be continual software optimization – buy only what you need, and use what you have. Any divergence from this optimized state means software audit risks, and/or unused shelfware draining the organization's resources.