8 Best Practices To Stop Your Software Estate From Becoming A White Elephant
As organizations reel under increasing margin pressures, the focus is now on looking inward for improving efficiency and driving down costs. It's a game that spells Cost Optimization and ROI Maximization across the board – support functions included. Also with C-level executives aligning their business goals and collaborating across functional departments, the internal IT team, especially in mature businesses is now no longer viewed as a traditional support function working in a silo. Rather, it is now in a position to determine the ROI on its IT assets, and plays an instrumental role in problem solving, working closely with the business teams and enabling them to perform better. It establishes processes and systems that help not only provide improved analytics in decision-making, but also in improving agility and pushing the needle in cutting costs, response time and Time to Value (TtV), to name a few.
For IT teams to evolve to this level, measures that enhance both efficiency and effectiveness in controlling software assets act as catalysts.
Effciency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.
- Peter Drucker
Besides this, IT teams must periodically assess the enterprise-wide software requirements, have full visibility over the entire software estate, be aware of their currently entitled software licenses, and maintain records of all publisher licensing agreements and their terms of usage. Overlooking any of these can invite several consequences – ranging from software sprawl, carrying unwanted costs and inefficiencies, publisher audits, to even litigations arising from compliance breaches. That’s a situation you wouldn’t want to be in.
So here are 8 best practices that can save your software estate with its assets from becoming a white elephant:
1. Recognize your top publishers in terms of exposure & risk :
With tools that provide visibility over your software estate, you should easily be able to identify the top applications and scrutinize their license agreements for staying compliant.
2. Identify your software utilization & entitlements :
Again, using tools that give insights into the extent of utilization of each software can help you judge the need for their renewal. Knowing the existing entitlements allows you to extract maximum value from them while steering clear of any compliance issues.
3. Create an effective license position :
Having knowledge about the exact user-level requirements in the enterprise, the existing utilization of applications, and the current licensing agreements, will help you stay compliant and prepare you to engage fruitfully with software vendors.
4. Establish your software requirements :
Periodically accessing the business needs in the enterprise will help you ascertain the usefulness of existing applications and arrive at decisions of retiring them or adding new capabilities easily.
5. Optimize your software utilization and spends :
By establishing your software requirements and knowing which applications are underutilized or utilized adequately, you can know which and how many licenses need renewing, or retiring. This helps in optimizing costs and improving efficiency. Through this exercise,you would also be able to determine the cost of the licensing component of your next IT budget.
6. Manage software estates through process & procedures :
By empowering your IT team with effective tools, you can now manage your software estate across hundreds or thousands of users across geographies simply by putting in place processes and procedures that save you bandwidth.
7. Understand the product usage rights and limitations :
Being aware of the application usage rights and limitations if any, helps in maximizing value through its effective usage and accessing the need for any upgrades, while staying compliant.
8. Understand the Contracts :
Being aware of the risks in contract and being prepared to mitigate the risk. Being aware of the end dates of the contracts, such that, renewal dates of the contract are not missed.
According to a July 2016 study conducted by Gartner, organizations can cut software costs by 30% just by optimizing software configurations, recycling software licenses, and using Software Application Management (SAM) tools.