One recent estimate pegged the amount of money wasted on maintenance for unused software and shelfware at $15.3 billion in the United States and United Kingdom alone. While this number is significant, it fails to take into consideration license entitlements that can be leveraged to further reduce software spend. Needless to say, steps can and should be taken to minimize spending on unused software. But an optimized license management program can also apply entitlements to ensure that license consumption is minimized. In addition, it can help select appropriate license models to meet organizational demands while reducing ongoing software costs.
A software asset management program can help recover up to 30 percent of software spend in the first year and five to 10 percent per year thereafter, according to estimates by Gartner Research. An optimized solution should be able to exceed these rates of savings.
The first step is to understand the maturity and effectiveness of your existing asset management processes. By reviewing the policies and processes already in place, an organization will be able to identify areas for improvement and/or resource gaps. This in turn will facilitate corrective action to reduce the costs and risks associated with the management of IT assets and promote adoption of methodologies for improvement. Organizations should follow this four-step process for software asset management assessment and improvement:
Identifying where strengths and weaknesses lie within the organization requires maturity assessment modeling. An organization should devise a set of key questions around various aspects of its IT processes to measure their maturity. Key stakeholders should then be asked to answer these questions independently of each other.
Typical questions include:
Once the answers have been collated, then a series of weighted measurements should be used to determine where the key issues lie.