The Software Savings Bill

On April 14th, 2016, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the Megabyte Act, or the “Making Electronic Government Accountable by Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act”. That’s quite the mouthful, and this act can have serious implications not only for the government but also for organizations and the future of software management in general.

The bill requires “federal agencies to maintain comprehensive software inventories and use them to track licenses and software usage.” Sound familiar? This is something that organizations have been encouraged to adapt time and time again, although there is no formal law stating that they have to. However, the fact that this practice is now being recognized as a necessity for government agencies speaks volumes about its importance. The bill is not only about properly tracking licenses – it also emphasizes cost savings and reporting, as well as correct training on license management. House Oversight Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz stated, “Software licenses are big-dollar items and if not properly managed get away from you very quickly.” Clearly, the money-saving benefits are a significant aspect of this bill, which reinforces one of the main reasons why organizations should be properly tracking licenses. If the Obama administration is working hard to eliminate wasteful software spending, your organization probably should too!

Taking this new legislation as a sign and a reminder to crack down on software license management is a wise move for firms. If your organization does not already have a software management process in place, this strong reinforcement of the benefits can act as a push to adopting one. As the bill highlights, there are a number of aspects to software license management that combine to form an effective program. Firstly, keeping a comprehensive inventory of all the software on your network is critical, and can be done with ease using a software asset management system. Tracking software usage is also important in order to see which licenses are necessary and which ones you may be wasting money on. Detailed reports can be created in a system like Vizor Software and will provide a clear picture for you. In terms of software spending, reports can also help you to avoid wasteful spending and clearly see annual savings that can be achieved through proper software management.

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*Source: Moore, Jack. “Software Savings Bill Advances in House.” 18 April 2016