Navigating today’s rapidly changing software environments can be a difficult and risky proposition, even when organizations have a formal plan in place. But with a comprehensive software strategy that formalizes every step from evaluation to ongoing management, it becomes much easier to avoid the costly consequences of non-compliant and misused programs.
While there are notable differences in organizational strategies, there are a handful of proven best practices that can guide progressive companies in the right direction:
To make a commitment. Those who profit from the most successful software management strategies proactively engage in the process with determination. They recognize the importance of understanding and managing the use of software in relation to license fees. Organizations engaged in a software management strategy tend to get the most support and get the best financial deals from manufacturers, while organizations that decide to wait and see if they get caught tend to get caught. end up with high unbudgeted expenses as well as fines associated with breach of license. terms. Being proactive and having a solution in place often results in better relationships with manufacturers, which generally increases the likelihood that the organization will benefit from competitive pricing when negotiating future purchases and upgrades.
Adopt proven strengths. Choosing an intuitive tool specifically designed for software asset management is a must. Most organizations have solutions in place where asset management is an available module. While this route is sufficient to meet simple requirements, it is important to remember that these solutions are rarely software specific. Instead, they tend to focus on something else, like managing mobile devices. These solutions may have the ability to administer patches or specifically identify assets in the field, but they often lack key features of specialized software management solutions. For example, a help desk solution will not necessarily have the ability to load all of the organization’s contracts and entitlement details. A well-designed solution will also allow partners to connect directly and complete checklists, which can be useful when organizations add new assets.
Regularly test the strategy. Regular attention and checkpoints, especially early on, are very important to quickly identify and correct potential problems. One approach is to choose one or two manufacturers that have more complicated licensing structures and perform monthly or quarterly checks to ensure that the team using the software understands what rights have been purchased. Just because a tool is in place and the data is there, people can always install software beyond what is theirs. It’s often the periodic checks that keep everyone online.
Ask for help. There are partners who can help you. Finding the right partner with consulting experience and an understanding of license use rights is key to explaining the gaps. A partner can even establish specific best practices to ensure compliance while effectively managing costs. A trusted licensing advisor is especially important in today’s environment, where manufacturers typically contact organizations directly to perform cadence checks. A good licensing advisor should serve as the glue to maintain communication between everyone involved and also act as an intermediary to manage the relationship with the manufacturer. There are also great advantages to finding partners who can plug directly into the tools and solutions of the organization.
For more information on software management, read the white paper “Best and Worst Practices: An Overview of Dos and Don’ts in Developing a Total Software Management Strategy.”
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