What can IT asset management software do for your organization? First, it allows you to achieve licensing compliance, which helps you avoid hefty fines associated from non-compliance. But this isn’t the only reason for asset management software. It can also save money by giving you more visibility into what software is in use and how it’s being used, so that you can negotiate contracts and plan for future needs with ease, saving the organization significant money over time.
Achieving Licensing Compliance
Software licenses are intentionally written to be ambiguous and confusing. This is done so that companies don’t understand what the license does and doesn’t allow, in hopes that the company can then be found out of compliance and hit with fines. Fair? No. But true nonetheless. Asset management software gives you better visibility into what machines are running any given software product, who uses it, and what other devices are dependent on the software, such as servers, cloud applications, or mobile users.
With this information, it’s easy not only to track when licenses are coming up for renewal, but to determine what software is needed, how many machines and users you need to license, and whether or not this particular product is indeed meeting the needs of the organization.
Sometimes licensing non-compliance comes not from the number of machines or users, but rather how the product is being used. For example, if your licensing agreement allows only for the product to be used for business-to-customer purposes, you might need to buy a different type of license for your business-to-business purposes. Once your asset management system is in place and you determine how the software is being used, it’s important to consult with your legal department to assure that this use meets the specifications of the licensing agreement.
Purchasing the Right Quantity of Licenses
One of the primary pitfalls that land organizations into a pit of steep fines is lacking enough licenses to cover the number of machines and/or users that take advantage of the product. With asset management software, you can easily see how many licenses you need to buy. This helps avoid under-buying, which leads to fines, as well as over-buying, which is just a waste of money.
Foreseeing Future Licensing Needs
Asset management also helps your organization stay on top of future growth. For instance, if most of the licenses that you’ve purchased are already in use, and you expect to add new employees during the next year, you’ll need to budget for additional licenses. Similarly, if there are products in your organization that aren’t being used or not being used very much, you can scale down or eliminate purchases on those licenses next year.
Any time a licensing agreement is up for renewal is a good time to comparison shop. New products are introduced continually, so never assume that the best product for the job one year ago or five years ago is still the best solution for your organization today.
About Kyle Shepard
Kyle is a Senior Manager of the Customer Success team for ITSM at SolarWinds. He works directly with customers to provide ongoing support in service management strategy for their evolving goals. He speaks on webinars and other educational resources in ITSM. He also played college lacrosse.
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