Driving Down Costs with Software Asset Optimization

By Colin Bartram, Director of Technology, Vector Networks (Page 5 of 6)

The Opportunities of Optimization

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

Factors out of sync Opportunity for improved optimisation
Licenses < installations Non-compliant situation.
Licenses > Installations Spare licenses can be redeployed or cancelled.
Installations < Copies needed Installations are not as planned and desktop users may not be adequately provided for.
Installations > Copies needed Installations are not as planned.
Licenses <> Copies needed Improve the coordination between the requirement planning and purchasing functions.
Installations > 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 Optimization has three main classes of activity -

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

Optimization Activities and Priorities

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

IT asset management tools will be needed to fully exploit the potential of optimization, including software inventory and software usage measurement. Tools are readily available, including on a temporary basis for an investigative survey.

Optimization Factor Set up and Discovery Variance Analysis Optimization Action
Copies Installed (Inventory) Resolve any applications not recognized by the inventory/discovery tool Regular review of correlation of inventory with licenses owned. Removal and redeployment of applications for compliance.
Copies Required (Application Policies) Define application policies in consultation with IT and user departments. Regular review of correlation of inventory and usage with application policies. Regular review and update of application policies to define desktop IT needs.
Copies Used (Software 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.
Licenses Owned (License Recording) High initial data input. Steady ongoing update. Regular review of correlation of inventory with licenses owned. Ensure licenses are correctly recorded.

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