IT managers looking to cut costs may find more than a few savable pennies hidden inside their applications. IT can often trim budgets by taking a long-term, asset management point of view on application costs, says Meta Group Inc., a Stamford, Conn.-based market research firm.

In an online presentation available at Meta Group’s Web site William Snyder, analyst for enterprise data center strategies, describes several ways IT managers can save money on applications.

– Upgrade all users instead of just select groups to new versions of software. It can save support costs, and it can also save money when the software vendor charges for old versions.

– Don’t be driven to negotiate with vendors at the last minute. Instead, develop a five-year model and try to start negotiations at least one quarter before the purchase becomes necessary.

– Examine existing contracts closely before moving to new pricing models. Current contracts may have protections that you won’t find in the new ones.

– Avoid five-year contracts. The current uncertainty in the software industry makes three-year contracts more attractive at the moment.

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