Overcome Compliance Fear with Application Rationalisation
IT Managers are usually judged successful IF “Nothing Went Wrong!”. This can lead to a focus on effectiveness at the expense of efficiency. Failure to comply with software licensing conditions may result in a public relations nightmare and career risks for some organisations. In response to this potential threat, IT managers have typically over-purchased software licenses to ensure compliance.
This approach, favoured for so long, is finally changing. The growing trend in software management now is applications rationalisation. Efficient life cycle management of a portfolio of software applications is replacing traditional compliance based software asset management (SAM).
Ask any IT Director if all applications are used and the reply will be “No but I don’t know how much or where unsued technology is”.
If you have a process around which you can create and maintain a supported software catalogue, then you are in a much better position to turn to a third-party support company and say: “These are the titles we need help on; we will tell you when the list grows, and when the list gets pruned.” You can start by stating that all existing installed software will be supported and maintained, but let’s fast-forward to another process that could drastically scale back such a list.
If software isn’t being used within a set period of time, what are you doing leaving it installed on a system? Get it removed!
Consolidating software licences offers several benefits. First, the IT department can benefit from economies of scale. Driving users to specific, preferred software means those applications that are chosen are more widely installed, so the procurement department can claim a bigger discount from a supplier. Reducing the number of un-preferred software licences also cuts support and maintenance fees.
The criteria for choosing an application should include an assessment of how reliable it is. The winner should have a good track record for uptime and user appeal.
Greater focus in support teams is another factor to consider because not every version of a software product will be required if a reduced software set is used to run your IT systems. This also reduces the dependency on subject matter experts knowing how to resolve a particular issue with esoteric software that has crept onto our network, if the use of such software has been pruned back.
My closing piece of advice is this: you don’t have to run the full assault-course of software asset management to make an informed decision on how best to manage your software assets. The above steps, and related benefits, can be taken without first having to know whether you are under- or over-compliant.
If you are interested in more details about application rationalisation, Click here to requesting our whitepaper on Application Rationalisation.