Software Licensing Featured Articles

Software Licensing - Are You Up-to-Date with Software Asset Management?

March 07, 2012
By Susan J. Campbell, Software Licensing Contributing Editor

Software asset management plays an important role in staying compliant with the variety of software licensing guidelines in the typical workplace.

In looking at how software is being used and the relevant software licensing tied to it, one can ascertain significant information by looking at where data is originating, how it got there, which staff members where completing the tasks, and what they were transmitting and when.

According to a recent Flexera Software blog, if the data is analyzed this way in every function step, much can be learned. Tagging quality assurance measurements to the process allows for a metric-based assessment of the effectiveness of the processes.

Following these steps, companies can stay on top of their software licensing and asset management processes and keep an accurate inventory of licensing needs, such as reconciliations or optimizations.

These processes aren't just an annual occurrence, either. Staying compliant on software licensing requires a review process that periodically takes into account the quality assurance steps that provide a continuing level of compliance.

Gaining control over your software estate helps you see the highest possible return on investment. Embarking on an effective software asset management procedure gives companies a way to make savings on their IT costs.

Approximately 30 percent of IT budgets are geared toward software licensing, according to one study. Likewise, taking on a management routine can save up to 20 percent a year on software licensing and maintenance costs, because you're achieving transparency that wasn't visible before. An effective management plan, however, requires human resources and software resources.

An easy way to get started on this technical process is to ask a few key questions: Do you know how many servers and personal computers the company owns and where they can be found? What software have you deployed? Do you know which software you're not allowed to use and which software you are allowed to use? How accurate are your purchasing records?

Once you've answered these questions you can begin to find your strengths and weaknesses and put your current processes against your best practices.

It’s also important to establish control of hardware assets. If you know when and where your hardware is deployed, you're more likely to know where and what the software is doing. This might be a challenge for larger companies that have multiple sites and staggering amounts of hardware and software. Bringing an inventory tool to the mix is probably the only effective way to go about this process.

Software licensing issues are best kept in track with software asset management, which brings your staff and their tools to the table to take care of the challenges and possible pitfalls that lurk where nobody is looking.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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