Whether you work in the public or private sector, the notion of budget cuts is a reality. If not an outright cut, you’re certainly being asked to do more with less—squeeze greater productivity and results out of the same number of resources and/or take on more projects than you have in the past.
The problem, of course, is that budget cuts hurt—they reduce the available funds and/or personnel available to get the work done. And, in most businesses, the work needing to get done continues to grow. But do all budget cuts have to hurt? Do all budget cuts necessarily have to reduce the available resources available to meet business needs?
Cutting the amount of money spent on software is quite typically achievable without reducing resources. How is that possible? Because most companies are over-spending on the software they have, tying up resources unnecessarily. Cutting the amount of shelfware reduces the software budget while freeing up resources to be applied to other business needs.
What’s so great about this is that in most companies, these savings are right there in front of you, you just can’t see them. The reason why is because software, unlike hardware and other physical assets, is hard to see. It’s on hundreds or thousands of computers spread throughout the enterprise and is quite transient (easily uninstalled and moved elsewhere).
Making matters worse, modern software licensing is complex. Traditional software asset management systems are limited in functionality to simply counting what you have purchased and deployed on legacy software. Legacy applications, developed for Windows, have simplistic licensing models—frequently based on a single user per license.
Modern applications, on the other hand, include Windows and non-Windows platforms and have complex licensing models based on a number of variables, including the underlying hardware. As a result, modern applications pose unique challenges through the entire software asset management process, including:
- Discovery of application virtualization, streaming, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) usage
- Handling license consumption implications for virtual applications, virtual machines, VDI, partitions, and sub-capacity
- Identification of processor and partition characteristics for major vendors (IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, etc.)
- Consumption and usage for enterprise license models for all major publishers, verified by the publisher where appropriate (IBM, Oracle, etc.)
- Tracking of usage in product-specific way that aligns with how the software usage is monetized (SAP, usage-based licensing such as FlexNet Licensing, etc.)
Traditional software asset management and data normalization tools don’t even collect the evidence required to identify these modern applications, let alone manage their usage and spend. Some Software License Optimization solutions do.
Being able to identify software shelfware starts with the ability to discover and inventory all the software in your estate. From there, the right tools can help you understand your actual usage as it relates to your software entitlements and the vendor’s application specific product use rights. The right Software License Optimization solution can provide the insights needed to identify software spend reductions (up to 30% of software spend in many companies) that can provide IT a budget cut that doesn’t hurt—freeing resources to be invested in the growing backlog of business requirements that currently are unfunded.