By John Emmitt
Flexera Software recently conducted a survey, with TechValidate, of our FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises customers. One of the questions we asked was:
What business challenges was your company experiencing with respect to software asset management?
(I should point out that these were their challenges BEFORE they implemented our Software License Optimization solution!)
The responses are shown in the chart below:
We see that at the top of the list was "A highly manual, time consuming process using spreadsheets that lacked accuracy, resulting in poor visibility and control." We find this to be the case across a wide range of customers, even for very large enterprises. Software license optimization solutions bring a lot of automation to bear on these SAM business challenges. Here are a few examples of this automation that show how these tools reduce time and effort and increase the accuracy of your IT asset management reports:
- Discovery and Inventory Tools-- there are many tools on the market that perform this function. In fact, at the Gartner IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit in Orlando this week, analyst Patricia Adams noted that there are at least 54 tools on the market. There are a few key requirements for your discovery and inventory tool(s)--
- Multi-platform support-- this is the ability to collect hardware and software inventory across Windows, Linux, UNIX and MAC platforms, as well as inventory of virtual environments (VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, etc.)
- Agent and agentless technologies-- the agent can collect application usage data that you can use to perform reharvesting of unused application licenses; an agentless approach may be needed in your datacenter server environments.
- A strong software knowledge base-- what we at Flexera Software call an Application Recognition Library. This is what is used to process the raw inventory data and produce the normalized list of software titles, versions and editions per device. Its important for this library to be large enough to cover the vast majority of the software titles in your IT environment. Its also important for the library to be updated on a regular basis to keep up with changes in software products, packaging and new releases.
- To learn more about discovery and inventory tools, read the Gartner report: "What You Need to Know About Discovery Tools for IT Asset Management."
Gartner recently published another research report on How to Assess a Software License Optimization and Entitlement Tool. Read the full report to see a comprehensive list of requirements for a software license optimization solution.
As noted in a couple of places above, these automated solutions also address the other key SAM business challenges, such as over spending on software and time consuming software audits. Tied for second on the list of challenges was: "Lacked the information needed to negotiate software contracts." Obviously, with increased visibility comes the information needed to put you in the driver's seat for contract negotiations. We'll delve into more detail on this topic in another blog.
To learn more please view our on-demand webinar: Gaining Visibility and Control of Your Hardware and Software Assets.