A new concept of Best Practice in Software Asset Management with Vector Asset Manager Pro

By Colin Bartram, Director of Technology, Vector Networks (Page 3 of 7)

Optimizing Software Assets

Software Asset Optimization – What is it?

Vector highlights four key factors in the ownership, management and exploitation of application software assets –

  • Requirements – defining and quantifying the organization's true requirements for an application. Organizations will purchase MS Office™ Professional for the entire network simply because they have no tools to quantify how many users only require Office Standard.
  • License ownership - If an organization has had decentralized software purchasing, then locating and documenting actual licenses can be the most challenging aspect of taking full control of software assets.
  • Inventory – how many copies are actually installed. This is critical – top quality inventory is a cornerstone of software asset optimization.
  • Usage – how many of the deployed copies are actually used. A PC sitting unused on a desk is highly visible. A copy of an application sitting unused on a hard disk is invisible and unnoticed.

Vector regards a customer as having fully optimized their software assets when all four factors are in sync.

The Scope for Optimization

Whenever any two of the four factors are out of sync, there is opportunity for improved optimization. Your organization can decide which areas of improvement to pursue, based either on top-down management principles, or may decide to wait until comprehensive information has been collected on all four factors.

Factors out of sync Opportunity for improved optimization
Purchases < installed Non-compliant situation.
Purchased > Installed Spare licenses can be redeployed or cancelled.
Installed < Copies needed Installations are not as planned and desktop users may not be adequately provided for.
Installed > Copies needed Installations are not as planned.
Purchased <> Copies needed Improve the coordination between the requirement planning and purchasing functions.
Installed > Copies used Wasted installations that could be redeployed or training may be required to increase use.

The Optimization Process

The process of applying the four functions to the goal of Software Asset Optimisation has three main classes of activity -

  • Set-up and discovery
  • Analysis of discrepancies and identification of priorities for action
  • Optimisation actions – redeploying applications, consolidating maintenance purchases, etc

Next page: Optimization: the High Level Business Drivers »

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