This article series has been contributed by Colin Bartram of Vector Networks.
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 ONE – Introduction
For many organizations, efforts to improve software management start with an audit which is driven by a concern to ensure license compliance and safety from prosecution.
However, this is a largely negative reason for investing time and money into an audit.
“In contrast, a balanced program of pro-active software asset management procedures can provide most organizations with financial savings and improved user productivity.”
A compliance audit is essentially a closed exercise of counting installations and versions and comparing the totals with licenses entitlement, whereas a pro-active management approach deals with questions such as –
With this emphasis driving your organization’s activities on software asset management, the objective of license compliance will be supported as an important – but essentially spin-off – benefit.
Extending Audit’s Horizons
When your organization is proposing to conduct a software audit for compliance, you have an opportunity to consider a much wider and longer lasting set of objectives and benefits.
Organizations using software should:
All these management activities service an objective that we identify as software asset optimization.
Part of our philosophy is that all application software requirements should be defined and quantified using a standard method. We recommend that the need for each application is defined in an ‘Application Policy’, which states which PCs need the application. A policy would refer to groups of PCs defined in an organization’s Active Directory or in its chosen IT Asset Management tools – or both, if the two are integrated as they should be. Within a policy, an application could be defined as ‘mandatory’ for some groups of PCs, ‘optional’ for some other groups, and prohibited from others.
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.