In this series Colin looks at how organisations can drive down software costs with proactive software management.
Driving Down Costs with Software Asset Optimization
Part 1: Extending Audit Horizons
Part 2: Software Asset Optimization Defined
Part 3: High Level Business Drivers
Part 4: Optimization’s Potential Benefits
Part 5: Three Phase Optimization Process
Part 6: Fast Track to Optimization Benefits
PART SIX – Fast Track to Optimization Benefits
For today’s slim-line IT management teams, it is worth summarizing the fastest routes to benefits from expanding the original concept of a software audit to embrace other factors of software asset optimization.
Step 1: Basic Inventory
Executing a full hardware and software inventory collection delivers immediate benefits, such as –
- Knowledge of the true population of PCs and software.
- The basis of information for planning software deployments and system upgrades.
- Access to rich and accurate data for support and helpdesk staff.
Step 2: Software License Totals
Without needing to go into detailed data entry of individual historic license purchases, the figure of total licenses owned can be used. Comparison with inventory immediately delivers summary compliance information – a very important short term objective for many organizations.
Step 3: Understand Requirements
Begin re-assessing license requirements by defining application policies. Choose the applications where you suspect there has been over-purchase in the past, simply though a lack of clarity of true requirements. This should reveal –
- Inappropriate installations, representing opportunities for removal and/or redeployment of software.
- Missing installations, potentially representing reduced user productivity.
In addition, you could choose to lay down a firmer foundation for all subsequent software purchases by ensuring they are based on a definition of requirements embedded in an application policy.
Step 4: Reveal the usage information
Often the last piece of information to be collected, this provides the ‘sanity check’ on your organization’s purchase and deployment of application software. With costs under constant scrutiny, it is hard to claim to be in control of cost of PC ownership without documentation verifying that application copies are used.
For a freeware utility it may not be economically justifiable to be concerned, but for applications costing hundreds of dollars deployed on hundreds or thousands of PCs, the figures cannot be ignored.
About the Author
Colin Bartram is VP Technology with Vector Networks Technology Group. He has been involved in the evolution of IT asset management since its inception in the 1980s, holding positions primarily in marketing and product management. Further information regarding Vector Networks can be found here.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.
On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.