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What is Driving Application Rationalization Beyond Software Licensing?

November 06, 2012
By Susan J. Campbell, Software Licensing Contributing Editor

The goal of application rationalization initiatives is to better understand various business problems so the right solution can be identified and applied. There are different perspectives on application rationalization, so approaching the initiative should be done with pertinent questions to better focus on the task at hand.

Generally, most enterprises focus on reducing redundant applications, software version management and software licensing. A recent Flexera blog highlighted the importance of standardizing platforms throughout a company in order to reduce the number of similar applications. This helps to create more effective portfolio management.

Typical occurrences that spur efforts to reduce similar applications include mergers and acquisitions, ongoing governance and transformation initiatives. Transformation usually takes place to find areas where money can be saved or processes made more efficient. At other times, companies are looking to for ways to reduce data storage.

Regardless of the motivation, transformation initiatives require planning to be certain that everyone is on the same page. When companies merge, there is often an effort to standardize their platforms and achieve more efficiency by running the same software, which also helps with software licensing issues.

Application rationalization initiatives also tend to be adopted when companies adopt new operating systems. Taking on a new IT enterprise architecture will also spur application rationalization as old versions of the IT architecture are phased out. Another catalyst is standardizing software, which often occurs as decisions are being made on new software.

Companies that are successful in their application rationalization initiatives see a reduction in internal support costs as their software licensing tasks are reduced and there are fewer applications to manage. There is also an increased layer of security added when the initiative is carried out efficiently, which can be assisted by software asset management (SAM) tools.

SAM tools are capable of creating a more organized planning process because they give more visibility into what software is being utilized, how current the software licensing is and what software is not being used. SAM tools can also track the different types of software licenses and which are being used on the machines throughout the enterprise.

For too long, application rationalization has been overlooked by companies large and small. As companies look for places to save money, application rationalization and an examination of their software licensing help to identify areas where fat could be trimmed. Whether it’s spurred by changes in infrastructure, software or operating system, application rationalization initiatives can do a lot to improve operations and cut expenses.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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