UK Government receptive to software license savings proposals

Over recent weeks, License Dashboard has been involved in a UK Government initiative called the ‘Innovation Launch Pad’. The brainchild of senior executives at the Cabinet Office, SMEs from across the UK were invited to submit a wide variety of proposals outlining how they could save the UK taxpayer money through government department cost savings.

License Dashboard jumped at the opportunity and prepared a proposal to show how through our Software Asset Management (SAM) Portal and License Dashboard products, we believe we could drive savings of up to £50m (US $80m) through better software procurement and license management.

Presenting our Software Asset Management proposal to a group of ‘Dragon’s Den’-style entrepreneurs, including Mike Lynch, Sherry Coutu and Sara Murray, it was clear we had touched a nerve.  From an initial 350 proposals, License Dashboard’s plan for improved government software license management was selected through two further stages to reach a shortlist of 15 SMEs invited to a one-day workshop in London.

The first question on the lips of our inquisitors was, unsurprisingly, how could we back up our claim of delivering the substantial £50m saving?  In reality, the calculations are not that difficult to explain.

Bridging the gap between the need for software and procurement

Our experience of dealing with both central and local government bodies in the UK and beyond has already taught us that there is almost always a disconnect between those that want access to software, those that control the deployment of applications, and those that procure/pay for software licenses.  This inevitably leads to cost-inefficiencies and over-spend, as departments fail to re-deploy the software entitlements they already have, to substantiate a legitimate need for the software being requested and getting the best price once it has actually been decided that a new software license is indeed required.

The Solution: 

The License Dashboard SAM Portal is a new concept in Software Asset Management, giving all the different stakeholders involved in managing the software lifecycle a single point of reference.  Users can request the software deployments they feel they need, software managers can approve or deny the requests, desktop support can initiate the deployment of applications and procurement can be sure that they are not buying new software licenses when existing ones can be re-harvested.

We know from research undertaken by Gartner and other analyst firms that the majority of organisations are over-subscribed on as much as 60 percent of their software portfolio.  Further, Gartner goes on to suggest that organisations adopting a robust and comprehensive approach to Software Asset Management can save up to 30 percent of their total cost per asset in the first year alone, with a further 5-10 percent saving in subsequent years.

Add to that the McInsey research that states that organisations now spend over 30 percent of their total IT budget on software and it’s not difficult to see where the License Dashboard proposed saving of £50m for improved license management comes from.

Over-spending on software licenses is not restricted to central government departments, nor is it limited to the UK.  All public sector bodies worldwide need to take charge of their license management in order to a) drive cost savings and free up operational budgets for other IT initiatives and b) ensure they are delivering the best services to their end users while not risking falling foul of license compliance laws.

License Dashboard has already proven how its technology and expert licensing knowledge forms the foundation of a strong public sector Software Asset Management strategy, with organisations including North Lincolnshire Council and Leeds Partnership NHS Foundation Trust already using our solutions to drive cost and efficiency savings.   But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; the challenge for both us and the public sector at large is to replicate these successes across all areas of government.  And that’s why we welcome the Innovation Launch Pad – anything that gives SMEs an opportunity to show government how to save money and deliver better services has to be a good thing.

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Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

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