Filter Your Software Data and Enhance Relevant Information
Many software managers are aware that they could save a lot of money and improve IT security for their company by optimizing the software portfolio. However, they lack the crucial transparency and facts to take appropriate measures.
To create the necessary database, they initially face two challenges:
1. Creating a complete overview on all hardware and software assets in the company (easily solved by selecting the right inventory solution)
2. Transforming the collected raw data into useful and relevant information for an in-depth analysis using intelligent software recognition methods.
The effort for these processes is often underestimated. Inventorying a brand new PC loaded with just the minimum standard software configuration may yield thousands of raw files since a single software program usually consists of a large number of them. So on the scale of an organization, you can imagine the massive amount of manual effort it would take to filter out the relevant entries and to combine the information so it is ready to be analyzed.
To translate the raw inventory data of an entire enterprise network, including many PCs, mobile devices, several servers, etc., into useful information in a reasonable time, you should use an automated software recognition solution. But what information should be provided in order to easily figure out where costs could be cut and security could be enhanced?
In general, software recognition is supposed to consolidate your entire mass of raw data that’s been collected and process it into useful and understandable information. By using a software catalog and specific recognition patterns (e.g. by fingerprint matching) it is possible to identify which software products are installed, the name of the vendor, the installed language, version and edition. This is the so-called “normalization of inventory data.”
Follow a simple mnemonic to remember which berries are edible:
White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red… could be good, could be dead.
But to optimize to your greatest potential in order to reduce software costs and to increase IT security, there’s more. For each instance of installed software, you need to know:
- Information about the category and functionality of each software program to identify overlapping functionalities (e.g. PDF Writer, PDF Reader, PDF Editor, PDF Converter, etc.) and to effectively consolidate them. By doing this, you can reduce both software procurement costs and internal costs, as well as improve IT security.
- What’s been used (and not used). By recording usage data, you can potentially reduce software costs by sorting it out or by recycling the software to another employee.
- Detailed information on the software version down to the patch-level to identify which maintenance and support contracts are still required, thus reducing operating costs. The overview of the currently installed patch levels also reveals security gaps, e.g. when the manufacturer support has expired or the current patch version is not installed yet.
- Software features (license type, software category) to identify Shadow IT, such as portable apps, games, non-commercial software, open source software, etc,, to analyze whether these can create risks for IT security or even for the compliance of the company.
- A further requirement for a software recognition solution should be that the software catalog is regularly updated by the vendor with the latest available software product information. Looking at the amount of new software products, versions and patches released every day, a daily update of your software catalog is recommended to enable an up-to-date view on your software portfolio.
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COMPAREX Portfolio Management Platform includes unique, automated business intelligence for software recognition and refinement, which provides an overview on all relevant information for your analyses so you can reduce your software costs, optimize internal costs and increase IT security.
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