Make savings with software metering and license reuse

Software Asset Management is defined as the processes necessary for the effective management, control & protection of software assets throughout all stages of the lifecycle. Many organisations now include SAM practises as part of their regular business strategy, with an over-riding aim to reduce costs and limit risks around software use and ownership. One aspect of SAM which can see some tangible cost savings and / or cost avoidance is the practice of Software Metering, or licence re-use.  

How software metering helps build a business case for SAM

Software inventory tools use key executable files, alongside other data, as part of their software recognition process. It is the information around access of the last key file which can be translated into understanding when the software application was last used. This data can then be analysed and decisions made around software re-use. Summarised within a SAM tool, or further within an IT Service Management solution, you could very quickly have access to a pot of software licences, ready for use.  Your procurement process and potentially financial approval process is bypassed, or effort involved from these teams becomes minimal and your IT user request response time could be shortened considerably. Not only is your IT customer experience enhanced, but your savings start to stack up. Actual savings such as these go far to raise the profile of a SAM programme, where it’s often difficult to prove the benefit of good SAM – how do you financially size the outcome of a vendor audit with no, or minimal non-compliance findings thanks to your established SAM procedures? Software Metering suddenly gives you demonstrable cost savings.

Software metering reveals actual usage

Similarly when it comes to your software contract renewal, do you want to commit to another X years maintenance on a potentially declining user base? Software tools may tell you how many copies of an application you have installed across your enterprise, but does that give you the full picture? Metering will help you provide intelligence around the actual usage of software, helping your organisation to make better informed decisions around ongoing support costs. Subscription licences may not require renewal at all and if it’s not the IT user that generates the renewal process, you may find that licence renewal is automatic. Your organisation could benefit from year on year cost savings from this simple practice.

Obviously, as with all things around Software Licensing, there are considerations that must be made. Not all vendors have blanket terms of use. One may require licence registration to a single named user only and in perpetuity, others may stipulate a period of time before licence re-use. Perhaps you will need to un-assign a licence with one user and register the transfer to another. Perhaps a software vendor will not consider your request to reduce support on a sub-set of your licence entitlement? It may be all or nothing for some vendors.

There is also the requirement for IT to remove the software from one device prior to installing to another. This is something that is commonly done very simply over your network, but the uninstallation is an integral part of the re-use process.

Software metering as part of standard SAM process

Metering rules have to be set within your software asset management tool for the programmes you choose to monitor. This isn’t normally a complicated process and something that a System Administrator can set up fairly quickly. Primarily we see the data utilised across software applications on the desktop estate, however, depending on the product, this data could be used in the same way across your server estate also.

If you have a Software Asset Management programme in place, it’s likely the effort required to make use of metering data is minimal. License Dashboard look to implement software metering as part of our standard Managed Service. If you have any questions we would be happy to help.

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Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

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