Quick Wins for Software Licence Optimization

8 November 2019

Sean Robinson


A diligent SAM practitioner tasked with ensuring that software applications and their associated licensing ought to have a firm grasp of software licence optimization initiatives. These quick and simple actions can make significant contributions towards mitigating licence compliance risks, realizing cost savings and recognizing cost avoidances.

Whether you are a seasoned SAM practitioner or a fresh-faced SAM newbie, delivering immediate value with tangible results, will go a long way toward impressing the C-level executive SAM sponsors of both mature and fledgling SAM programs.

With this in mind there are a handful of ‘quick wins’ for software licence optimization. SAM personnel can effectively maximize the use of their procured software licenses while minimizing the spend associated with them.

Software Re-harvesting:

Establishing a policy to identify and uninstall un-used software applications so they can be installed and licensed elsewhere at no additional cost is a quick-fire and repeatable process that will enable you to maximize existing licence investments.

Targeting applications that are deployed outside of the standardized desktop image and installed for a particular purpose or for a short period of time, can often be forgotten about and rarely used by users. Adobe products and Microsoft Project & Visio applications are typical culprits to monitor which can be aided by tactical software metering exercises to uncover the real usage of applications.

Software Metering:

Assessing how often users are opening and running applications installed on their devices over a short period of time provides a great opportunity for a SAM practitioner to optimize the utility of software licence investments. Software metering capabilities are available in most software inventory and management solutions to determine last run dates, run counts and run times, allowing you to critically assess applications of interest and earmark underutilized licenses for reallocation when required. However, you must ensure that software metering is joined to an effective application removals process, supported by written policy, to realise the value of this tactical exercise.

Alternative Applications:

Identifying alternative applications that provide similar or less functionality can often be a cost-effective way of reclaiming expensive licenses that are underutilized by users and ensuring that licenses that are not essential are not procured in the first place. It is always worthwhile establishing user requirements to identify what functionality and feature sets are required to make informed application deployment and licence allocation decisions.

For example, users may only need viewing access to documents or workflows rather than the full functionality and features of Project/Visio Professional or Project/Visio Standard. Free viewers are often available for download and inexpensive pdf writers are also available for commercial use.

Enhanced software licence optimization solutions

Should you be interested in understanding how an enhanced software licence optimization initiative can complement and benefit your existing SAM practices please contact License Dashboard for more information.

Sean is a pioneer of SAM with over 20 years’ experience in software licensing compliance. He developed our industry leading, software asset and license management tool, License Manager, delivering SAM services to some of the largest companies in the world.

Sean Robinson

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