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How to release value from your IT assets

According to the Gartner Group, “organisations can realise cost savings of between 5 – 35 % by implementing focused software asset management practices”. So how can you realise cost savings or even release value from your IT assets?

There are a number of ways this can be done. IT asset value can be ‘hard’ (monetary) and ‘soft’ (efficiency and effectiveness of operations). Hard value is realised by minimising spend and selling used assets. Soft value is reducing the cost of associated operations. Cost avoidance is a large component of this, avoiding the cost of buying more software than is actually needed and re-harvesting existing surplus software.

The following checklist provides a quick view on where value / savings can be derived:

  • Sell unused software selling software that is no longer required. To do this you must ensure that you have a good handle on your IT assets. Know exactly what licences you have, who is using them, how they are being used and on what hardware. Also whether you are likely to embark upon a software migration/upgrade project or a M&A that may result in unwanted licences. An ELP (Effective Licence Position) supported by good quality inventory and usage data will also help to pinpoint unwanted licences.
  • Stay compliant avoid unbudgeted / unforeseen audit costs (including internal resources, 3rd party, tools and fees), by being audit ready. Understanding natural licence renewal points and anticipating licence demand in the business can also help to stay compliant.
  • Maximise product usage rights and entitlements ensure you are exploiting the product usage rights that come with your software, (e.g. free 2nd installs on an allocated laptop which comes with some products).
  • Provide the right application for the right user ensure that users have access to what they need to perform their roles, improving efficiency and productivity. This includes the right edition and user type for a product – often the default position is to purchase the highest features which might not be needed. Target training requirements and improve collaboration.
  • Reduce Support & Maintenance costs ensure that only approved and standard applications are installed. This reduces infrastructure and support costs and related IT functions such as security costs. Support costs can be reduced significantly. A KPMG survey in 2008 stated that a 50% reduction in support costs can be achieved by managing software effectively.

Understanding your IT assets allows you to:

  • budget and forecast effectively
  • support and facilitate internal re-charging and cost allocation for services
  • prepare and implement more effectively for upgrades/migration projects
  • identify security vulnerabilities and apply fixes and patches
  • use your existing assets more efficiently

Some of the services that ITAMS can help with include: building a business case for SAM, gap & risk analysis, audit defence, ELP generation, etc.