By Brent Pietrzak
Many of the enterprise clients I work with have taken a new organizational direction with respect to Software License Optimization (SLO). These organizations are no longer treating Software License Optimization as an element of an IT asset management program and are specifically assigning a manager of this function and building a team around the Software License Optimization concept.
The reasons behind this change are tied to the recognition that managing assets is a software compliance function while license optimization is about achieving specific business outcomes. Typical outcomes of the Software License Optimization function not addressed in an ITAM program are:
- Maximizing the value of software spend by buying via the optimal entitlement structure, buying only additional licenses needed (ensuring that unneeded license costs are directed to other software buys associated with new projects)
- Reducing or cancelling software maintenance agreements with respect to unused assets
- Matching software entitlement options for large purchases with planned consumption over 3-5 year periods.
Whereas, ITAM programs typically focus on getting to a level one or level two state of optimization, most typically just having a count of assets on a large scale and protecting the organization from software license compliance issues, the Software License Optimization function is about matching the current and future entitlement rights of an organization against the usage of assets and ensuring that an organization is buying what it needs, using what it has, and applying the aggregate savings derived through this management process to fund purchases for initiatives that otherwise would not have happened.