More and more companies are adopting software usage policies – formal, documented sets of rules and guidelines that let users know what software packages are authorized, and how they should be utilized and managed. With a software usage policy in place, organizations can gain greater visibility into and control over their software stack, as well as all software-related activities, such as how applications are requested, installed, used, upgraded, and maintained.
A software usage policy is a critical part of any IT asset management strategy, providing dramatic benefits for the companies who implement them. For example, software usage policies can:
- Reduce business risk. Formal software usage policies help facilitate effective software license compliance, digital rights management, and other types of initiatives aimed at adhering to contracts and legal guidelines.
- Optimize technology performance. The enforcement of software usage policies can enhance the performance of IT assets by eliminating bandwidth issues, excessive network traffic, and other problems caused by mis-use of approved applications, or use of illegal or unauthorized ones such as peer-to-peer file sharing programs.
- Enhance security. By dictating how remote access tools, and other solutions that minimize or hinder security can be utilized, a software usage policy can help keep PCs and other assets protected from viruses, spyware, malware, and other malicious programs.
- Improve end user productivity. When employees use games, chat, or other similar unauthorized, their efficiency can be seriously impacted. Implementing a software usage policy, and enforcing it via automated software asset management tools, can eliminate use of these types of programs. This helps to ensure that staff members are always focused on performing their jobs.