Driving Down Costs with Software Asset Optimization

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

Software Asset Optimization: Fast Track to Benefits

For today's slim-line IT management teams, it is worth summarizing the fastest routes to benefits from expanding the original concept of a software audit to embrace other factors of software asset optimization.

Step 1: Basic Inventory

Executing a full hardware and software inventory collection delivers immediate benefits, such as –

  • Knowledge of the true population of PCs and software.
  • The basis of information for planning software deployments and system upgrades.
  • Access to rich and accurate data for support and helpdesk staff.

Step 2: Software License Totals

Without needing to go into detailed data entry of individual historic license purchases, the figure of total licenses owned can be used. Comparison with inventory immediately delivers summary compliance information – a very important short term objective for many organizations.

Step 3: Understand Requirements

Begin re-assessing license requirements by defining application policies. Choose the applications where you suspect there has been over-purchase in the past, simply though a lack of clarity of true requirements. This should reveal –

  • Inappropriate installations, representing opportunities for removal and/or redeployment of software.
  • Missing installations, potentially representing reduced user productivity.

In addition, you could choose to lay down a firmer foundation for all subsequent software purchases by ensuring they are based on a definition of requirements embedded in an application policy.

Step 4: Reveal the usage information

Often the last piece of information to be collected, this provides the ‘sanity check’ on your organization's purchase and deployment of application software. With costs under constant scrutiny, it is hard to claim to be in control of cost of PC ownership without documentation verifying that application copies are used.

For a freeware utility it may not be economically justifiable to be concerned, but for applications costing hundreds of dollars deployed on hundreds or thousands of PCs, the figures cannot be ignored.

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. Colin is based in the UK and can be reached at cbartram@vector-networks.com. Information on Vector Networks' IT service and asset management solutions can be found at www.vector-networks.com

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