Software Asset Management (SAM) is a complex process that enables organizations to gain control of their software estate from both a license compliance and financial standpoint.
But, where do these cost savings come from? Reharvesting unused licenses and recycling licenses from retired hardware are techniques that yield significant savings. Another approach that is often overlooked is the application of product use rights (PUR) to reduce initial license purchase, true-up and renewal costs.
Part 3 – License Reharvesting & Recycling
License reharvesting and recycling both involve reclaiming and reallocating unused software licenses. In the former case—reharvesting—licenses are simply not being used by certain people or groups within the organization, and/or there are computers in storage that contain installed software.
If there are users in another part of the organization who need access to this software, then the applications must be uninstalled from the one set of machines and re-installed on the other. Application metering can be used to track usage and find candidates for reharvesting. Many IT asset management tools provide application metering capabilities. Wiping software from computers in storage also frees up licenses for reallocation and reduces the organization’s audit or true-up liability.
License recycling is the process of reclaiming licenses from retired hardware. Many organizations have a three or four year hardware refresh cycle, so one quarter to one third of the machines are retired each year. Frequently, software licenses that could be reused instead go out the door with the retired hardware. If only 10% of the software licenses on retired hardware could be reclaimed, then 2.5 to 3% of the software spend could be saved by recycling.
Reharvesting and recycling are important elements of an optimized software asset management program. Software purchase and renewal costs can be reduced by 5 to 10% or more in the first year of implementation of a program that includes these strategies.