Managing Your Available Software Licenses

By Jarrod Adam | Leadership Insight
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

One way in which excellent IT engineers distinguish themselves from the rest is when they worry about your budget as well as your infrastructure and incorporate software licensing cost into their design considerations.

Software licenses are a major budget item and one that often recurs year after year. In the midst of busy operations, it’s all too easy for licensing to go unmanaged and grow out of control. This can have some challenging consequences.

Consequences

When you think of software licensing challenges the first thing most people think of is making sure you have enough licenses for all your users and nobody appears to be “pirating” software. Usually, the consequence of having a software provider discovering minor infractions is that you’ll be required to “true up” retroactively to bring yourself back into alignment. Only those committing massive software piracy are likely to face legal issues.

The more common issue actually starts with you being completely up to date with licenses for each of your people.

Unnecessary Purchases

There are many events that can cause it, but sometimes people leave. Perhaps you’re suffering a forced reduction of staff. Perhaps a few people were fired. Sometimes it’s just simple attrition.

At some point after that time, new people are hired either to replace those lost or to fill newly created positions. Upon hire, its time to perform a complete onboarding process for each of these new employees. This usually includes filling out all their required tax, benefits, and other paperwork. Then its time to assign them a work location, give them a phone and a computer.

Of course, that computer must be properly configured, and since you’ve tried to stay caught up on all licensing, a new license for the software or cloud services that person will use is procured.

And there it is.

The one step many companies skip is to check to see if there are any active licenses that were remaining when other personnel left the company. Departures may produce a few available licenses or, in the case of large mergers, acquisition, liquidations, or other major changes in personnel, there may be a large quantity of licenses that remain active even though they are no longer in use.

The result is that you’ve just spent unnecessarily for new licenses that duplicate available active licenses you already own.

Great Value in License Management

Whether you currently have insufficient licensing for your workforce or too many licenses owned due to departing personnel, you are exposed to significant risk either of retroactive “true-up” or unnecessary purchasing of more licenses, you’re spending on expenses you didn’t need to incur.

Be at least as conscious of your software licensing costs as that excellent IT engineer who designed your network was. Learn more about how easy it is to proactively and consistently manage your software investments.

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Jarrod Adam
Director of Product Management

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