Cost Control for your Software Assets
Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, estimates that organisations that begin an IT and Software Asset Management (IT&SAM) programme experience up to a 30% reduction in cost per asset in the first year and continued savings of 5 to 10% annually over the next five years.
With software taking up an ever increasing share of your IT budget, it has become even more important to manage, control and protect your software assets. Having a greater understanding of your licence position and being able to track what software you have deployed can definitely help you avoid unnecessary expenditure. Implementing a SAM programme can, therefore, reduce costs without necessarily reducing your IT assets.
The basis of any good SAM programme is to keep accurate and up-to-date software licence information, together with processes for controlling and maintaining its accuracy. Having a comprehensive licence management tool to store this information is essential. Not only does this allow you to archive effectively but it also allows you to publish this information when required and clearly balance the equation between what you have installed and what you are allowed to install.
Many have explained licence management as a ‘black-art’ and that it is forever a moving target that requires more than just adding a number or document against a device or user. This statement is completely accurate and emphasises the absolute need for a licence management tool.
To understand licence management you must first understand what elements need managing. The list below provides a high-level overview of just a few of the tasks required:
- Record and track all licence types, such as device, user, concurrency, value units, processor and site licences
- Provide an interface for managing all purchasing agreements, including associating the owner responsible for managing the terms
- Report compliance, over or under licensing
- Report a comprehensive audit trail of all changes made to software and associated licences
THE LICENCE DASHBOARD APPROACH
Over the last six years, Licence Dashboard has completed over 600 SAM projects and has been recognised as one of the leading SAM specialists in the UK. Within this period, we have worked with some of the world’s largest organisations, all of which have benefited significantly from implementing the Licence Dashboard™.
With Licence Dashboard, you can effectively and automatically control the entire lifecycle of your software assets from purchase, to upgrade and beyond. With its easy-to-use interface, users such as SAM Managers, Licence Administrators, IT Managers and all other authorised members of staff can gain access to software inventory, licence inventory and purchasing information at anytime.
Using this information can ensure that all purchases of software are correctly specified and procured using the most cost-effective agreements, while ensuring that all licence evidence is correctly recorded and loss of entitlement is significantly reduced.
By continuing to aggregate an organisation’s installation rights, more informed purchasing decisions can be made – thus reducing the risks of overspend. Again, Gartner informs us that organisations which do not utilise this information during the purchasing stage overbuy software licences for 60% of their portfolio.
From a single view within Licence Dashboard, an Administrator can report exactly what the organisation is allowed to install, determine how many licences have been allocated, verify how many licences are still available and be alerted to any maintenance renewals which are due. This unique report enables organisations to manage day-to-day licensing chores without the user having to be a Licence Specialist. It also provides greater clarity – putting you in a better negotiating position and promoting more informed purchasing decisions.
Licence Dashboard’s built in licence knowledge helps organisations control the complex behaviour of the licence evidence and automatically aggregates your licence entitlement, ensuring that all licence constraints and dependencies have been correctly adhered to. In addition, comprehensive audit trails are available illustrating the references between base licences, upgrades and maintenance renewals.
Utilising Licence Dashboard helps reduce operational costs by streamlining and controlling the software lifecycle. It also increases valuable IT resource availability and productivity.
After establishing your licence entitlement, Licence Dashboard then goes on to determine your compliance position. To do this, the application directly interfaces into your existing IT asset inventory or discovery tool and cleanses the software usage. As you have probably already experienced, asset inventory tools are generally designed and implemented to assist in managing an organisation’s technical attributes and not licence compliance per se. Most of these asset inventory tools are excellent at scanning the network for hardware and software information – manipulating this software information into a format that enables you to identify your licensable products, however, can become a nightmare.
Licence Dashboard’s Data Cleanse module extends the software recognition process and then further distils the scanned software, highlighting the associated licence liability of all installed products. This type of transparency and control will not only prevent over deployment of software, but can also help reduce the overhead required to track and monitor its usage and liability.
Once compliance has been calculated, Licence Dashboard then allows the end user to publish a wealth of compliance and purchase history reports. These reports also include cost saving and cost avoidance statements such as the Microsoft Enterprise True Up Statement which uniquely allows you to control fully the complex true-up requirements of Microsoft. It also enables you to tightly control and forecast the associated costs more effectively. Many large organisations have already saved months’ worth of man hours and thousands of pounds by using Licence Dashboard.
REALISE THE BENEFITS
Licence Dashboard’s comprehensive functionality removes the complexity of licensing and really allows an organisation to manage fully the software and licence entitlement lifecycle – thereby reducing operational risk and excessive spend within the organisation.
So, with cost reduction order of the day, there has never been a better time to embark on that SAM programme you have been putting off for years and start realising the true benefits associated with effective management of your software assets.
As experienced by all the organisations we have been engaged with, you too could save hundreds of thousands of pounds without necessarily having to reduce your physical assets or workforce. In addition, the indirect savings – such as improved strategic infrastructure planning and reduced support costs – could also be significant and financially beneficial to all areas of your organisation.Tags: Assets, software