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

By Colin Bartram, Director of Technology, Vector Networks (Page 4 of 7)

Optimisation: the High Level Business Drivers

Once data has been collected and analyzed, optimisation decisions can be made and prioritized in accordance with the organisation'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. This activity may need to be reflected in the application's Package Policy definition(s) to ensure that requirements are correctly understood.

Maximum return on the investment of application ownership.

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.

Review of Package Policies

After any action involving actual deployment of an application, it may be appropriate to maintain the Package Policies to reflect the situation.

This matrix summarises the full set of potential activities in the optimization process. Each organization will decide where it wishes to deploy its resources first, depending on its goals.

Function Set up and Discovery Variance Analysis Optimisation Action
Deployment – Inventory Resolve provisional and unrecognised applications. Regular review of correlation of Inventory with Licenses bought. Removal and redeployment of applications for compliance.
Requirement -Package Policies Define Package Policies in consultation with IT and user departments. Regular review of correlation of Inventory and Usage with Package Policies. Regular review and update of Package Policies to define desktop IT needs.
Usage – Metering Low initial setup task, Low ongoing maintenance. Regular review to identify unused copies of software. Regular review to identify wasted installations that can be redeployed or where training is required to enable use.
Ownership –License Recording High initial data input. Steady ongoing update. Regular review of correlation of Inventory with Licenses bought. Ensure licenses are correctly recorded

How Vector Asset Manager Pro Functions map to Software Asset Optimisation

Asset Manager Pro has four functions that map onto the four factors of Software Asset Optimisation.

  • Without the right tools, Software Requirements are usually rounded up as a safeguard against non-compliance, resulting in over-purchase and wasted licenses. The Application Package Policy Manager provides organizations with the means to define their software requirements more accurately.
  • License documents are often dispersed through an organization, making it very difficult to understand the overall ownership and compliance situation. The License Manager provides for detailed recording of license purchases and maintenance provisions.
  • Inventory forms the foundation of Software Asset Optimization.
  • Understanding how many of the installed copies are actually used with Software Metering provides the reality check on the benefits gained from owning the application. This information should feed back into the requirements planning.

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