Global organizations are increasingly deploying enterprise software solutions to enhance the efficiency of their core business processes.
While overall IT spending is on the rise, much of it can be attributed to spending on enterprise software. In 2020, it is expected to reach US$426 billion worldwide.
Big enterprises host large databases, have multiple intertwined departments, and oversee innumerable processes from sourcing raw materials to delivering customer-focused solutions. They also require collaboration among hundreds of employees to deliver success.
Enterprise software systems help automate these processes and integrate different departments and their functions. Companies typically use enterprise software systems for the following business functions:
- Enterprise resource planning
- Customer relationship management
- Enterprise asset management
- Business intelligence
- Supply chain management
- Product lifecycle management
- IT asset management
Enterprise-level software solutions are used by hundreds of employees and typically cost thousands of dollars. Owing to their large-scale use and cost, they must be efficiently managed.
When it comes to tracking enterprise software, software license management is perhaps the most significant aspect.
Software licenses are legal instruments that allow enterprises to use and assign software to their employees. Using unlicensed software versions can cause a breach of the copyright law and cost businesses to not only lose money but also negatively impact their image.
With a software license management tool, you can sidestep these issues and avoid the fate of non-compliant corporations.
What is a software license management solution?
A software license management solution helps monitor the license status and payments of various software applications used within your organization. You can use it to document, track, and optimize your licensing costs.
The case for a dedicated software license management strategy
A dedicated software license management strategy facilitates license tracking and ensures license compliance at all times.
It helps you avoid potential legal fines and true-up costs needed to keep your licenses and subscriptions current. For this reason, it is a crucial part of an enterprise’s licensing framework.
With a software license management solution at your disposal, you can bring your licensing strategy into action and accomplish the following:
1. Software spend optimization
Many enterprises may not even know the true dollar amount they squander on unused software. According to the Software Usage and Waste Report 2016, the average cost of unused software in a company is approximately $259 per desktop.
Annually, this average accounts for 37 percent of a company’s waste. With a software license management solution, you can take control of your software expenditure.
It helps identify underutilized or unassigned software. Once you evaluate the software needs of your employees, you can revoke licenses of unused software copies and optimize your software spend.
2. Audit risk mitigation
About 60 percent of organizations face rigorous software audits by major software vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, and Oracle.
However, poor licensing practices can make such organizations prone to “accidental software piracy” by depicting an inaccurate picture of their current licensing framework. This increases the risk of bad audits and may result in a tarnished company image.
Using a software license management solution helps you maintain accurate, real-time records of your software license activities. You no longer have to run around compiling data at the beginning of every audit period.
Run detailed reports on your license history as and when needed, share them with your auditors, and always be audit-ready.
3. Uninterrupted operations
As discussed earlier, enterprises rely on multiple integrated software solutions to keep their operations running smoothly. Accidental lapse of a license subscription fee may halt your use of particular software, let’s say, an ERP system.
This can eventually curb your use of accounting software that’s linked to the ERP system. A certain purchase requisition created in the ERP system may not get synced in the accounting system, impacting your cash flow cycle and hurting the bottom line.
With a dedicated software licensing strategy, you can automate timely alerts of license renewals and fee payments. This keeps you on top of your payment schedules. You can use all your enterprise software solutions without a hitch and run continuous operations across sites.
4. Scalable license assignment
Enterprises are ever-growing. They recruit an increasing number of employees on an annual basis. These new employees need access to relevant software applications to carry out their daily tasks, calling for more software licenses to be issued.
The ever-expanding nature of enterprises, therefore, demands constant vigilance of the software licensing framework. An ideal software license management solution facilitates scalability.
It runs periodic scans of your IT devices and active directories to determine the demand for new software licenses. You can assign as many licenses to your employees as needed.
It also offers unlimited data capacity to store details of an increasing IT fleet, ranging from software applications to power cords and server data.
From spreadsheets to automated software license management
Despite their challenging software needs, many IT-intensive organizations still rely on “old-school” spreadsheets to keep track of their software licenses. However, as they grow in size, manual data entry for license tracking becomes more painstaking, costly, and inefficient.
Leading enterprises across a diverse range of industries are now switching to automated software licensing tools for proactive monitoring and maintaining a single source of truth of their software license architecture.
5 ways you can use AssetSonar to meet your advanced software license management needs
AssetSonar offers a powerful industry-leading software license management solution that grows with your business and enables proactive and centralized software license management.
Here are some key advanced features of AssetSonar that can streamline your software licensing workflows.
1. Automated software discovery and reconciliation
Our software license management solution uses agent-based discovery to fetch system, hardware, and software details of all IT devices used within your organization.
It populates data of On Premise software applications installed across your IT landscape. AssetSonar also integrates with various active directory applications such as Azure AD, G Suite, and Okta to import users and Cloud Software from your employees’ company accounts.
You can either run syncs every 24 hours or schedule automated syncs after intervals of your choosing to reconcile software data.
This way, you have real-time information about the assignment status of your enterprise software applications. You can then create more licenses against these software copies based on your needs.
2. Software license reporting
AssetSonar also helps analyze and detect gaps in your licensing framework by running detailed license reports for all your instances. Discover which employees are using unlicensed software and issue the required licenses.
We also offer a customized dashboard that you configure with licensing metrics of your preference to monitor your license performance. These include:
- Potential License Savings shows the dollar amount of underutilized licenses you are overpaying for so you can cancel their subscriptions when needed.
- True up Cost highlights the amount you must incur to become compliant. It is essentially the number of overused seats per license multiplied by the average cost of each seat.
- Software Spend by Publishers displays the total cost of software licenses per publisher. You can identify publishers whose services your company uses the most and request them to offer special discounts.
- Software License Compliance Overview shows a cumulative percentage of licenses that are overused, underused, or 90% completed.
- Potential Savings shows the savings you’ve done as part of your cost-cutting strategy. Lower the potential savings, better the cost structure.
- Software Spend shows the dollar amount you spend on licenses. Lower software spend means you’re now spending less on unused software.
3. Vendor and payment management
With our software license management solution, you can keep a detailed log of all your past and future payments for each software license. AssetSonar has a section dedicated to the payment schedule of your licenses.
Monitor your license spend with data fields such as License Payable Amount, Last Paid On, and Next Payment Due On, and stay on top of your license subscription fees.
The Payment section is editable. You can manually add miscellaneous software expenses for troubleshooting services provided by the vendors. If for some reason, the vendors offer you a discount or do not charge you miscellaneous fees, you can even ‘Void’ the payment from the schedule.
Our dashboard metrics like Software Spend by Publishers and Potential Savings by Publishers highlight vendors you have a good purchasing relationship with and vendors with who you have the potential to build a strong relationship to get more discounts and rewards.
4. Alerts for timely renewals and payments
AssetSonar enables you to set up automated alerts for all upcoming expiries, renewals, and payments so you never miss a licensing event.
You can set up the following alerts with our tool:
- Licenses expiring in ‘x’ days
- Payment due in ‘x’ days
- License(s) became active today
- License(s) expired today
- License(s) terminated today
Our alerts also help you maintain an optimal inventory of licenses with the License Availability alert. Let’s say, your company is actively hiring new graphic designers and needs to purchase licenses for Adobe Photoshop for the new hires.
Oftentimes, the purchase of new licenses may get delayed because you did not know you were running short of a certain license.
You can overcome this by specifying a License Availability Threshold and setting up a License Availability Alert.
The License Availability Threshold refers to the minimum amount of licenses available, which if reached, should trigger the purchase of new licenses.
5. Mobile app
Many IT-intensive companies use software applications on personal handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones. Having a software management solution that runs on your desktop devices is just not enough.
For this reason, you need a solution that is compatible with iOS and Android and can run on smartphones and tablets.
AssetSonar’s software license management solution offers a simple and intuitive mobile app that you can use to get updated on your IT devices and the On Premise software installed on them.
It gives you instant visibility into your software data, even when your IT team is in transit.
Our software license management solution comes with an added layer of data protection
Authorized access to and use of critical data has always been a concern for enterprises. For large organizations, 2020 will be a crucial year for data governance, security, and privacy. GDPR and other data protection regulations may limit enterprises, if not duly complied with.
This is why you need a software licensing solution that safeguards your licensing data and caters to all the compliance regulations relevant to your field of operations.
Due to these security concerns, enterprises often struggle between deploying on-premise software and using a private cloud-based system.
AssetSonar offers a private cloud option to its enterprise customers with greater data security needs. We host your IT asset data on a virtual cloud, siloed away from the data of other enterprises, and protect your company data via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and data encryption at rest.
We’re also compliant with international security standards like ISO 27001 and GDPR. This ensures that your confidential license, employee, and client data are always protected.
It also helps increase the confidence of your stakeholders by showing how well you manage security risk.
AssetSonar is the leading cloud-based software license management tool built on AWS. It offers a virtual private cloud to enterprises with strict data governance needs. Get extensible IT asset management, fast-track system performance, high security, and premium support with our enterprise private cloud offering.
Sign up today for a free 15-day trial.