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Get Real Value from Disparate Data Sets

Are you using the right asset to manage your licensing entitlement?

A common issue ITAMS’ consultants come across when helping clients build a SAM / licensing programme is the conflicting records found for a given asset, normally from different data sources. The data sources often include various tools such as discovery, security, patching and software distribution, results from physical audits or barcoding solutions, as well as entries in CMDB etc.

The conflicted records provide limited coverage and are most likely to be out-dated, posing a threat not only to its accuracy but also its integrity. As a result many clients are left in a difficult position in terms of deciding which set of the conflicting records should be used to run compliance calculations or against which data CMDB CIs should be validated.

ITAMS’ best practice recommendation is for clients to consolidate and normalise the disparate asset data sets into a “golden source” and to use only this common record across the organisation and on which to base licence and configuration decisions.

Case Study:

Hardware data reconciliation supporting licence, configuration and outsourcer management

With help from ITAMS, a recent client in the finance sector successfully consolidated, compared, normalised, visualised and reported against 15 hardware data sources. The results were spectacular. They assumed the worst case for calculating hardware maintenance contract by including all identified machines from a number of data sources as input to their assumed estate.

In fact, less than 70% of these machines were real and still present. Analysis showed that the largest contributor was that discovery tools continued to routinely report machines they had last scanned years ago as active. As many of these tools were outsourcer managed with neither a mandatory nor a ‘3 month aged device’ policy applied, the reported data was evidently inaccurate and accounted for unnecessary overpayments in various categories (hardware and software related) to the tune of £10M’s.

The value from the project goes beyond cost avoidance and supports many areas of operational and cost management. It provides a full audit trail of how the “golden record” is derived against which reports on complex data sets can run.

Are you spending too much on software?

Organisations must focus more on managing their top vendors to reduce spend on software. In a recent enterprise licence management engagement (80k seats), ITAMS was able to attribute approximately 40% of its client’s total annual software spend of £165m, to their top 12 vendors. With 70% of their budget spent on support and maintenance and 30% on new licences there is a large opportunity to make substantial savings.

Do you know what percentage your budget is attributed to your top vendors?