IT service management (ITSM) is a hot space. IT organizations are looking to automate and manage essential business processes while transforming to a service oriented model. And ITSM is the backbone of service automation.
Likewise, Software License Optimization is a very hot space. Software License Optimization helps companies proactively ensure compliance with software license agreements and optimize software spend. What many not realize is that it does so by understanding all of your software and hardware assets – critical since today’s modern software license agreements are based on the underlying hardware.
In fact, in a 2013 report entitled “MarketScope for the IT Asset Management Repository” (subscription required) Gartner stated:
The total ITAM market size has decreased from less than $452 million to $445 million in 2010 and 2011. We believe this decline can be directly attributed to software license entitlement tools gaining traction as a point solution. Based on Gartner client inquiry data, software license entitlement is continuing to generate a high volume of calls, and we expect that this segment likely took additional market share in 2012.
And things haven’t slowed since this was published. Note: Software license entitlement was the term Gartner used at the time to refer to Software License Optimization solutions.
Given that IT services are built with IT assets, IT Service Management has a lot to gain from effective software asset management and hardware asset management processes that are automated and managed by Software License Optimization solutions.
In fact, BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) says:
“For IT to be effective requires good control and accurate data, which requires SAM and Service management to work together”
This leads to the three reasons Software License Optimization is essential to IT Service Management (ITSM):
- IT asset data – Software License Optimization solutions are increasingly become the definitive source of IT asset management data for both software and hardware. Why? Because they automate and manage the software and hardware asset management business processes for companies that have at their core a complete understanding of your IT assets. As noted above, IT services are built with IT assets, so this IT asset management data becomes essential to ITSM.
- Business process integration – As IT transforms from a cost center to a service delivery entity, it requires not only building and delivering the service, but owning and managing the cost of a service and who uses it. There are numerous processes, from change management to configuration management and more, that also benefit from business process integration where the valuable software license position and other essential data housed in a Software License Optimization solution adds critical value to the ITSM processes. While ITSM and Software License Optimization are separate business processes, each benefits from tighter integration with the other in numerous use cases.
- Funding – ITSM projects can be expensive. One of the tremendous values that Software License Optimization offers is in material cost savings. As one example, a large manufacturer realized over $30 million in savings with Software License Optimization in 6 months. Such savings are not uncommon. And, these savings can be a source of IT budget to fund further investments in transforming to an IT service management orientation.
I think we’ll continue to see greater synergies between ITSM and Software License Optimization as more and more companies figure out ways to integrate these increasingly essential business processes to tie IT asset management and IT cost data to service delivery.