Know Your Role in Software Portfolio Management
What the Swiss pocketknife is for the survivalist, the License Manager is for his company: A true all-in-one asset to save you in difficult situations. All tasks around the software lifecycle come together in this job role, which serves as an interface to many other departments.
The overall goal of a License Manager is to keep the balance of purchased licenses and installed software. His tasks also include optimizing software costs, introducing processes and tools for software licensing, controlling software budgets, supporting accurate budget planning, and managing vendor audits. For this he collaborates with the purchasing department, the IT department, and external partners.
So, what makes a successful License Manager? Let’s see how the License Manager can achieve his goals efficiently by knowing and actively managing his software portfolio.
Quality First: Weigh and Measure what You Have
Administrating software licenses is a License Manager’s core competence. In addition, you should get an overview of the technical installs, provided by a powerful inventory solution and software detection. Without a complete and qualified database to analyze, you are not able to explore the full potential of the software portfolio, or even verify the actual compliance status.
So, introduce a solution that is capable of gathering inventory and usage data from all corporate servers and clients, and a powerful software detection that properly combines this data and provides in-depth software information.
Obtain transparency on your license balance by comparing purchased licenses with installed software and ensure compliance by taking action when there are more installations than purchased licenses or software that is not allowed for commercial use.
Open up Potential and Cut Costs
To optimize software costs, it is worthwhile to take a look at which software is supplied from which vendor and whether there are redundant software products. If you are aware of this, you can get noticeably higher vendor discounts by consolidating vendors and software diversity, as larger numbers of licenses are purchased from fewer vendors. For a sustainable software consolidation, you need to analyze and compare the functionalities of your software as well as the actual needs of the users.
For further optimization, analyze which software is actually used by the assigned user. Remove unused software from the user PC and pool unassigned software licenses. If another employee requires this software, he gets the license from the pool and you don’t need to buy a new one. If this software product is not required anymore, it can also be totally removed from the software portfolio.
Keep Control and Plan the Future
Budget planning is always a delicate matter. Who knows what can happen during a year? Prepare yourself for the future by evaluating which of your purchased and installed software products are coming to end of life or end of support soon. These products must then be replaced. If you are aware of this change, you are able to include it in your strategic planning, align all stakeholders and affected users and consider the costs of the new software in the budget plan.
The transparency of the actual software usage also helps you plan software budgets more accurately, as you can plan ahead knowing whether a license will be procured at the next renewal or not.
Information is Power
Knowing your technical software environment as well as the commercial stock makes it a lot easier to discuss new software procurements or process optimization with the IT department. The possibilities of a professional Software Portfolio Management not only help you to achieve your goals as a license manager, it also simplifies the day-to-day of your colleagues.
- The Procurement Officer benefits from the software consolidation by negotiating with fewer vendors and by the improved position in price negotiations.
- The IT department and support team also benefit from software consolidation as they have less effort for administration, patch management, support and training.
- The Security Manager can quickly identify security gaps in the enterprise network, caused by outdated software versions, unauthorized installations or end-of-life software.
- The CIO benefits from the transparency of the IT environment, which helps him to develop sound IT strategies, create business cases and to quickly capture potentials and risks.
- Help your company gain efficiency by identifying and removing unwanted applications like games or suspicious software.
Time to Sharpen the Pocketknife
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