Software License Asset Management (SLAM) Part III

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1 LANDesk White Paper Software License Asset Management (SLAM) Part III Structuring SLAM to Solve Business Challenges

2 Contents The Third Step in SLAM: Optimizing Your Operations Benefiting from Step 3 of SLAM....3 The Goal of Every Organization: Simple Customer Satisfaction Controlling costs with a simplified request catalog....3 Adding speed and consistency with automation....3 Best Practices for Operational Optimization...4 Build a well-defined request catalog tied to approval and delivery processes....4 Establish a baseline....4 Anticipate IT changes with real-time monitoring....4 Connect deployment procedures to a front-end request process...4 Link recovery procedures into asset lifecycle control....4 Proceed with your optimization program one project at a time...5 Conclusion....5 To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, LANDesk assumes no liability whatsoever, and disclaims any express or implied warranty, relating to the sale and/or use of LANDesk products including liability or warranties relating to fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, or infringement of any patent, copyright or other intellectual property right, without limiting the rights under copyright. LANDesk retains the right to make changes to this document or related product specifications and descriptions, at any time, without notice. LANDesk makes no warranty for the use of this document and assumes no responsibility for any errors that can appear in the document nor does it make a commitment to update the information contained herein. For the most current product information, please visit. Copyright 2013, LANDesk Software, Inc. and its affiliates. All rights reserved. LANDesk and its logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of LANDesk Software, Inc. and its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. Other brands and names may be claimed as the property of others. LSI /13 AS/BB/DL 2

3 The Third Step in SLAM: Optimizing Your Operations If you re serious about getting the full value out of your Software License and Asset Management (SLAM) discipline, this final white paper in the three-part SLAM series discusses the third step optimizing your operations. Currently, your business can probably pass a compliance audit without incurring penalties. It s very possible you ve taken strides toward limiting your software costs by gathering usage information in advance of recovering unused or underused software titles. With company-wide SLAM procedures in place, you are ready to optimize your infrastructure operations by refining your SLAM structures. Benefiting from Step 3 of SLAM Let s review the three levels or steps of SLAM to see how to maximize your efforts. In Step 1 discussed in the Part I white paper Five Steps to Reduce Software License Costs and Ensure Audit Preparedness, the objective is to implement a basic SLAM strategy and make significant progress in containing your software costs by assessing software usage in advance of harvesting unused or underutilized licenses. You should also take steps to evaluate the true cost of each software purchase, and assign responsibility for those costs to separate departmental budgets. The Part I white paper introduces a set of five SLAM disciplines that offer the validation you need to protect yourself at the time of an audit and to plan effectively for the future by: 1) ensuring the consistent capture of data over time; 2) providing a history of changes over time; and 3) demonstrating control at any given time of your software entitlements. Actively performing these tasks will keep your data fresh and relevant, and enable audit readiness at any time. 3 Acquire & Import Discover & Inventory Document Reconcile Report In Step 2, described in the Part II white paper Preparing for Software Compliance Audits, the goal is to move from defense to offense and take control of your audit. SLAM is an ongoing management and maintenance discipline, and the secret to surviving an audit is preparation, which enables you to transition from a defensive stance (proving you re compliant) to one of offense, where the auditor proves you re in violation. If you can demonstrate control of both facts and processes, you can change the tone of the audit. Step 2 is also where you implement an entitlement program for comparing the terms and conditions of validated license purchases against actual installations. You create an ownership catalog that a software asset manager could use to accurately reflect important details about your software environment, including license agreements, proofs of purchase, warranties, and departmental allocations. Now in Step 3 the focus is on how to avoid repeating costly overbuying mistakes by implementing best practices that automate software installation requests with your software catalog, which in turn enables real-time assignment and recovery based on policy and license availability. This level of sophisticated reporting capability provides greater visibility and with it greater control over the software entering and leaving your organization. The Goal of Every Organization: Simple Customer Satisfaction In many ways, your SLAM discipline resembles a store where your customers come to purchase software. The customer tends to choose from the stock on the shelves and select more expensive special orders only when no other option will suffice. And as the storekeeper, you want your shelves to contain products that help your customers be more productive and cost conscious. In Step 3 of SLAM, you use the validated cost data and usage patterns from Step 2 to inform business decisions. And you reflect those decisions to your customers in a request catalog a pared-down list of titles that your organization has decided to support. Controlling costs with a simplified request catalog Simplifying the request catalog begins the process of ultimately reducing the total number of titles your business owns and manages. If new users can t request an old title, operational maintenance gets easier, and rogue or non-standard installations stick out like blinking lights. It s not uncommon for organizations to own several versions of the same software and attempt to license, maintain and update all of them. While particular use cases justify instances of legacy software, in many cases maintenance is so high on legacy software titles and the hardware they run on that it s cheaper to move everyone forward to the latest version. As your organization weeds out underutilized software and software products that perform the same functional task, your simplified request catalog becomes the basis for more favorable future license agreements. For example, if your company decides to move everyone forward to the latest version of Microsoft Office rather than update multiple versions, you can negotiate a bulk purchase rather than buy a more expensive enterprise agreement. Adding speed and consistency with automation SLAM begins as a largely manual process that involves acquiring or collecting detailed information and encouraging company-wide disciplines. Once you know the level of permission for a software title, who should receive alerts prior to approval, and which budget

4 pays for the software, you are in a position to enforce policies that ensure accurate and consistent data capture. By automating request, approval, fulfillment and recovery actions at Step 3, well-understood processes become faster and more auditable. You will gain control of your software throughout its lifecycle and reduce the time and resources involved in generating trustworthy information about software deployments and entitlements. All levels of your organization benefit from an advanced SLAM discipline. Decision makers can count on accurate and consistent data capture to make strategic decisions regarding present titles and future purchases; users get the software they need quicker and at realistic prices; IT teams can respond quickly to user requests and use fewer resources in the process. As organizations proactively manage their software, they can reduce IT labor expense by as much as 50 percent per PC, according to a study by KPMG. 1 Help desk operations also become more efficient as SLAM matures in the organization. 2 Best Practices for Operational Optimization The more standardization and measurability you apply to SLAM, the more ways your company will find to apply the data analytics, granular control, and total visibility into your inventory of software license and hardware assets that SLAM can provide. You will be able to negotiate cost-effective license agreements, plan future purchases, consult up-to-date software usage records and enforce policies. The following best practices can help you improve profitability by controlling your company s software licenses. As IT reduces the total number of titles it installs and supports, it helps streamline procedures and tighten budgets for optimized operations throughout the organization. Establish a baseline Creating a baseline to inventory your data enables daily discipline and control, and it allows you to set and enforce appropriate policies. The baseline allows you to reconcile discoveries against entitlements for the related, but independent, request and recovery programs. It should include the job classes of those with authority to use software. Plus it can help you assess an employee s skill sets to determine if their job competencies reflect their software needs. To keep your baseline fresh, you ll need to conduct regular inventory checks. We recommend you inventory your discovery basis at least once a week. This kind of consistency, eased considerably by automated tools, proves accuracy and diligence during vendor audits. It also ensures that you ll be prepared to detect any software that s not properly entitled. [1] Software Asset Management: Mitigating Risk and Realizing Opportunity. KPMG International, [2] Ibid Anticipate IT changes with real-time monitoring As you improve control and limit options with your initial request catalog, automation can start behind the scenes, eventually shifting your software asset manager s duties from hands-on control to oversight. Before deploying an automated request handling system, it s best to have rules in place for who has the right to request software and how you will track that software throughout its lifecycle. You should track the functional value of open-source software, because you ll need it for analytics going forward into license negotiations and eventual software retirement. While it s possible to conduct SLAM with a clipboard and a pencil, it saves time and increases effectiveness to use a continuous monitoring function. We re all aware of how quickly IT changes, and only real-time monitoring can ensure the kind of accurate software tracking you will need to predict future needs and make strategic investments. Connect deployment procedures to a front-end request process Because SLAM requires procedural changes, it takes time for control of your software assets to become simpler and faster with centralized deployments. This means that software must enter or leave your organization through one channel. You can gain control of asset acquisition from the start by establishing beginning-of-life initiatives through cloud aggregators that connect your information with B2B purchasing information from multiple vendors, suppliers, and resellers. The solution should be able to deliver purchase history, barcode scanner integration, automatic asset enrollment, license renewal, asset retirement, and warranty expirations. In addition, by approving and generating work orders from a single front-end request process, you can flag approved and unapproved requests, enable cost tracking and chargeback, and manage approval by job class. Using monitoring technology that runs on the endpoint to track the volume of requests and changes frees your asset manager to set policy and apply reasonable enforcement. While you will likely allow automatic approval for commodity software installations, the rules about who can make requests will undoubtedly become stricter for expensive software, such as Autodesk programs, which can run thousands of dollars per license. Simplify policy enforcement by posting the rules for software use in the request catalog or on your intranet. Link recovery procedures into asset lifecycle control Knowing when to retire, replace, or recover software is every bit as vital as knowing when to purchase it. An automated SLAM process can alert IT to recover software associated with employee transfers and terminations. And it can provide the means and the rules for 4

5 retiring and/or replacing legacy software versions. For example, a department that has a specific use for its older version of Visio can use validated cost information to determine if it wants to pay for an old version or retire it and purchase its replacement. By linking recovery procedures with asset lifecycle control, SLAM helps ensure that your software investments are free of unnecessary costs or risks. Disaster recovery is faster when the IT staff knows what s on the servers. Likewise, the help desk can provide better end user support with knowledge about what is on a user s machine. Proceed with your optimization program one project at a time It takes time to embed SLAM procedures into your company and bridge the gaps between departments with disparate objectives. SLAM does not happen overnight, but by attending to one project at a time, you can accomplish successive goals. The further you take SLAM, the more projects you will want to undertake, because knowing what software runs in your environment makes you better equipped for managing risk and ensuring business continuity. Base your project decisions on your corporate imperatives, which could include disaster recovery or monitoring employee internet and download activities. Keep employees up-to-date, trained, and involved in the process of using and maintaining your SLAM program as you proceed from one project to another. And finally, in Step 3, you have structured processes to ensure that SLAM becomes a strategic tool rather than simply data collection in advance of a pending audit. Just as importantly, you can now manage costs of both licenses and maintenance as a function of the asset catalog and expose those costs to internal consumers through budget chargeback. Now, you can right size your next license purchase rather than overbuy licenses as a way to achieve compliance. You can keep total titles owned to a minimum, decrease support costs, and reduce the complexity of your technology infrastructure. Conclusion As we ve discussed, building a SLAM discipline is an additive process. In Step 1 discussed in Five Steps to Reduce Software License Costs and Ensure Audit Preparedness, developing a SLAM discipline means you can begin to contain your costs by analyzing how your software assets are being used and make operational decisions based on that analysis. For example, you may look at usage patterns to determine if there is unused software that you can uninstall and make available to other employees. By first identifying underused software, then initiating internal processes to solicit an explicit request to retain or remove the software, SLAM helps raise visibility into the costs and business-relevant use of that software. By actively assessing software usage, you can negotiate future license agreements with your software vendor based on validated data, not guesswork or supposition. In Step 2 discussed in Preparing for Software Compliance Audits, SLAM allows you to survive the audit by showing proof of purchase for every discovered instance of an audited title. This phase of SLAM includes a basic entitlement management program for comparing the specific terms and conditions of a license against what is actually installed. Ideally, you have assigned an employee to manage discovery and entitlements and to police noncompliance. 5

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