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Software Inventory: You don’t know what you don’t know

Published: November 7th, 2016 By: IT World Canada Staff

COMPAREX

Companies without a transparent view into their software inventory are spending billions on unused and duplicate software, a problem that has only become exacerbated by the cloud.

Software asset management provides an answer, albeit a difficult one. According to Gartner, companies that mature their SAM processes, or implement a tool to focus on licensing typically report reducing their software spend by 30 per cent within a year. With global spend of more than $300 billion, that means as much as $90 billion that could be saved.

But the burden of building internal SAM capabilities is out of reach and far too costly for most organizations with hundreds—if not more than 1000—different IT vendors and even more software licenses to manage. Add in the recent combination of on-premise and cloud-based applications in hybrid IT environments and complexity challenges surge.

Not taking advantage of SAM is not an option, though, for companies striving to compete in today’s market.

“With how data and applications are playing such an integral part in all industries, every business today is essentially a software business,” says Erik Moll, director of digital transformation at Comparex Canada. “At the end of the day, if you want to be able to manage your business, you need an ability to manage your software.”

“So managing software is as important today as managing employees, or vehicle fleet, or industrial equipment,” he adds. Yet, how many organizations have 20% more employees than they need, or an extra 30 trucks they don’t know about it?

Savings experienced by companies who turn to a managed SAM as a service solution, like Softcare from Comparex, come from reducing licenses for unused software and eliminating duplication, learned through taking a continuous inventory of existing software licenses and user behaviour, and aligning the two.

Energy leader turns down its software spend

For example, to gain a full understanding of its software environment—where a software program or suite is in its lifecycle, where it resides, who is using it and why—European energy giant RWE turned to Comparex and its SAM2GO Profiler, a component of the SoftCare solution.

The company’s IT service provider used SAM2GO Profiler to gain a detailed overview of the software available on the entire RWE network. This allowed it to find and eliminate unwanted non-business software for security and compliance, but also to reduce its own licensed software and associated costs armed with dedicated information on all software programs and suites in use.
The breadth of software required to conduct RWE’s vast range of activities from payroll and accounting, to energy consulting, to the management of wind farms called on SAM2GO Profiler’s extensive database of more than 12,000 software vendors and more than 45,000 products.

“It was clear after the first test run of the SAM2GO Profiler in October 2014 that this service is a great help when it comes to identifying problem areas on the software side in the IT infrastructure,” said Rolf Notthoff, head of software asset management at RWE IT GambH in Essen, Germany.

“The Comparex tool also provides clear release information that simplifies further measures in software asset management and allocations to licenses we have obtained. We can now access a clear ‘map’ of the software in use from a technical viewpoint practically at the push of a button.”

SAM2GO Profiler now provides RWE with an overview of software in use in its production environment by function. This allows the company to standardize and eliminating software with the same purpose, as well as removing unused software. All software inventory data gained flows through the on-premise SAM tool, so RWE can make decisions and receive quick savings from of this previously costly business area.


This is the second in a five-part series on Comparex Softcare. For an overview on the solution and its , view the first blog in the series, and watch for our look at the impact of SAM on reducing the risk from software audits.

Learn More: Navigating the Cloud and Software Asset Management with COMPAREX Solutions

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