By Steve Beards
With the continued need to contain IT costs, here are a few of the ways you can leverage Software Asset Management (SAM) and License Optimization processes and tools to “be frugal:”
- Make software asset management and license optimization a part of your normal business routine
Normalise software asset management and integrate it in your day-to-day business routine. A regular SAM health check will keep your software costs low! To ensure software costs are controlled, license management must be included within signed off procedures.
- Adopt a “Continuous License Compliance” strategy to avoid those pesky software audits
Mars Inc. endured an Oracle software audit and delivered a staggering 233,089-page response as part of their audit defence. This is only one of many cases where a company has had to endure the sting of an audit. More than often, businesses have not been keeping an eye on their software license compliance position until they are faced with a vendor audit. By the time this comes around, they are often out of compliance with a number of their license agreements and it is these infractions that can lead to unbudgeted audit true-up fees.
A “Continuous License Compliance” strategy involves putting into place the necessary people, processes and automated SAM tools capable of tracking software inventory, application usage data and contract terms – performing a license reconciliation to determine your license compliance position (aka your “effective license position”), and guaranteeing that you are in fact, in compliance with your software license agreements!
Figure 1: Management Dashboard Showing Publisher Compliance Status
3. Centralise software procurement and asset management
There are many business processes and so much data associated with software license management that it is imperative that contract negotiation (and monitoring) is carried out in the most centralised fashion. The single characteristic that differentiates the best-in-class enterprises in this space is that they have consolidated and centralised their enterprise-wide software procurement and software asset management activities to control costs, negotiate better global license agreements and leverage their license entitlements throughout the organization.
4. Track usage to reclaim licenses for unused software
Businesses can save significant sums of money by reclaiming licenses for unused software. This is particularly effective for desktop applications. Your SAM tools can track application usage, and working in conjunction with an enterprise app store, you can automate the process of reclaiming licenses. The app store also makes it easy for the business users to get the software they need, when they need it, making it more likely that they will be willing to have unused applications uninstalled from their machines. (See this case study: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development Canada or read this whitepaper: Increase ROI by Integrating an Enterprise App Store with Your Software License Optimization Solution)
Figure 2: App Portal Enterprise App Store Screenshot Showing an Unused Software Alert
5. Use tools and track progress
While license management is considered a challenge by many, advanced software asset management and license optimisation tools are available for businesses who wish to effectively manage the many complexities (licensing, IT environment, organisational complexities, etc.) involved. These tools make it possible for organisations to manage these complexities, automate key software asset management processes, and identify under-utilised software.
Figure 3: Management Dashboard Showing Licenses Under-consumed-- An Area of Potential Cost Savings
To learn about controlling costs for SAP software products, read our whitepaper: Curing the SAP Overpayment Syndrome.
Or, you may be interested in this whitepaper: The Foundation of a Successful ITAM Program - In 5 Not So Easy Steps.