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 THREE – The High Level Business Drivers
Once data has been collected and analyzed, optimization decisions can be made and prioritized in accordance with the organization’s objectives.
The key business drivers to consider are –
It is not uncommon for an organization to revert to its initial objective of ensuring compliance, but with the usage information indicating where unused copies are installed, there is now the opportunity to reduce the cost of compliance by ensuring maximum use of the copies already owned. I.e., where an application is under-licensed compared to the deployment, the first focus should be to ensure that the deployed copies are being used, before any additional copies are bought.
Reduction of ongoing costs of ownership
Each PC can carry a significant cost in the annual maintenance of the applications. When the application copy is not being used, or an alternative provision can be made for occasional use, then the copy should be de-installed, and its maintenance cancelled unless the copy is needed elsewhere. Either way, the objective is to not pay for maintenance on unused software.
Application ownership ROI
A first priority under this heading would normally be the redeployment of unused copies of applications, but it may also be appropriate to assess whether usage would increase if user training were increased. Going down this path requires an organization to understand that application software can and should be a source of user productivity, and not just a pure overhead.
It may also be appropriate to purchase additional application copies to match requirements, to increase organization productivity without compromising compliance.
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.