When implementing an enterprise app store, it is important to consider both the needs of users and the needs of IT. IT wants to provide employees a consumer-like experience without jeopardizing control and ensuring maximum utilization of expensive software assets. The following best practice is #2 of 7 that will help ensure wide adoption of your enterprise app store by balancing effective financial control with high-quality service delivery. Download all 7 best practices in the white paper, "Best Practices for Governance and Compliance using an Enterprise App Store"
Enterprise Best Practice # 2 - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse
In most enterprises, a number of software licenses are allocated but are lying dormant for a number of reasons. The employee who was assigned the license might have changed jobs within the company or left the company entirely. The licenses for these applications remain allocated even though they are no longer in use. In the Key Trends in Software Pricing and Licensing Survey, 56 percent of enterprises say that 11 percent or more of their application spend is associated with applications that are underused. Moreover, at a recent Flexera Software webinar, 60 percent of the participants said they do not have a process in place for reclaiming unused licenses. Consequently, idle licenses present an opportunity for significant cost recovery.
There are two approaches to minimize the number of idle licenses. You can implement software leasing or you can reclaim and reallocate idle licenses. With leasing, licenses are assigned for a specific time period and then reclaimed and returned to the available license pool where it is made available to other employees that may need it. Leasing is a good way to handle expensive applications and applications used seasonally or by temporary contractors. You can also use leasing for software needed for short-term projects, such as by leasing Microsoft Project.
App store solutions should automate both approaches to license conservation based on policy. In automating a license reclamation process, the app store must communicate with a Software License Optimization solution to gather and maintain application usage data on all users to provide visibility into who is using what applications and how frequently. The app store notifies users with idle licenses of IT's intent to reclaim the licenses. The users can optionally relinquish the license or provide justification for keeping it.
Enterprises typically get better results from software license conservation programs by engaging users. To get users involved, the app store must provide them with feedback, such as what applications are installed on their devices, the cost of the applications and which applications are unused or infrequently used. Also, if you let users know they can get a surrendered application back very quickly if they need it, they will be more willing to relinquish applications they don't use very often.
It's also important to provide cost transparency to users such as through chargeback or showback. Cost feedback sensitizes users to the high cost of software and encourages them to be more prudent in requesting applications and relinquishing applications they no longer use.
Coming up: Enterprise Best Practice #3 - Stock the Store and Keep It Current