It's All About SoftwareBy: Eric Feldman
Years ago, a mentor of mine told me a story that I have never forgotten. He was working at an electronics retailer, and they were starting a project to computerize their point of sale and inventory system. In those days, people actually wrote out sales receipts and performed inventory by hand.
He was excited to learn the new technology, but was surprised, and even disappointed when the engineers installed the new systems. The brand name on the shiny new terminals said “Qantel.” My mentor only knew the one brand that everyone else knew at the dawn of the PC age, so he asked, “why didn’t we get IBM?”
In response, the engineer told my mentor the important lesson about technology that has not changed in all these years -
“It’s all about the software.”
The Challenge of Managing Software
The software landscape has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. From the mainframe era, through client server models and now virtual and cloud delivered software. Yet, one thing hasn’t changed - it is software that ultimately delivers value and drives innovation for the modern enterprise.
However, when it comes to managing the technology that powers every enterprise, it is often software that is more of a challenge compared to hardware.
Hardware is a tangible asset. As a result, management tasks such as inventory and IT process automation are more straightforward due to their physical characteristics.
When managing software however, several new layers of complexity emerge across multiple areas.
When it comes to inventory, it’s not as easy as counting the number of computer systems. You need to look at every system to see not just what software titles are installed, but also their corresponding version or release number. And you also need to know your license entitlements - what was actually purchased and licensed for use.
Compounding the software management challenge is understanding if any known vulnerabilities exist that could expose your organization to cyber attack. And keeping up with the constant remediation and patching can be a full time job at many companies.
SaaS & Cloud Computing Make Things More Challenging
But software is no longer only about what is installed on your desktop or datacenter. The vast majority of software is now delivered by subscription based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or enterprise applications delivered via hosted cloud instances.
This has brought an entirely new level of complexity to managing software.
With companies embracing hybrid work and SaaS, the trend known as “Business Led IT” is on the rise, that is, technology purchased and used by departments outside the purview of IT. In fact, 51% of business executives are now involved in SaaS purchases1. Ease of SaaS procurement has also increased Shadow IT - up to 50% of current technology spending in large enterprises is now Shadow IT2.
This software proliferation has led to several challenges:
- Cost inefficiencies: According to Gartner3, about 25% of SaaS subscriptions are wasted, typically due to the lack of centralized management of the software in use. For many companies, this could amount to millions of wasted dollars that can directly impact a bottom line.
- Compliance risk: According to the Business Software Alliance4, about 37% of all software is unlicensed. This exposes an organization to expensive license audits which often result in true-up costs and penalties.
- Security risk: According to the same report, an organization faces a 33% chance of encountering malware if they use unlicensed software. And each malware attack can cost that organization an average of $2.4 million, and disrupt the organization for up to 50 days.
Put Money Back in your Pocket by Managing Software
The concept of “It's all about software” can be demonstrated by how much is actually spent on software, compared with other technologies. Gartner predicts that global spending on software is estimated to reach over $902 billion in 2023, an increase of almost 12% over the previous year. To put this in perspective, global software spend will be over 4 times that of hardware systems that power data centers and cloud providers.
With all that we know about software, what can you gain by implementing tools and effective management practices?
In an extensive study covering over 1000 companies across 20 countries5, Deloitte found that an average of 23% of software maintenance and subscription cost can be saved with effective software management.
Other studies back this outcome. In their report on software, the Business Software Alliance indicated that organizations can achieve as much as 30% savings in annual software costs by implementing a robust software management program. The same study found that when companies take pragmatic steps to improve their software management, they can improve their profits by an impressive 11%.
In summary, effectively managing software, SaaS, and cloud will have a profound impact on your bottom line. But exactly how can you easily manage your software and other technology assets in a dynamic modern work environment?
Five Steps to Effectively Managing Software & Your Entire Technology Estate
The team at Oomnitza are experts in managing software, SaaS, cloud, and your entire technology environment. We have encapsulated our experience into 5 key best practice recommendations. Adoption of these will go a long way towards reducing the costs and risks of software and SaaS usage.
- Optimize usage. Identify unused and orphaned licenses/subscriptions, shadow IT and redundant applications to reclaim, reuse and rightsize
- Automate employee offboarding. De-risk departures and ensure compliance by automating workflows for deprovisioning, reclamation and reuse
- Elevate employee experience. Automate employee lifecycle workflows to equip users with the right apps to enhance productivity
- Ensure license compliance. Track and manage all software usage by endpoint and user to ensure license compliance and avoid true-ups and penalties
- Optimize cost. Plan proactively for upcoming renewals and leverage a data-driven approach for budgeting and forecasting software expenditures
To help you put these practices in action, be sure to take a look at the Oomnitza Software Asset Module, a key component of the Oomnitza platform. Learn how you can gain immediate and actionable insight to automate key business processes across your software ecosystem, as well as your endpoints, infrastructure, users and locations.
Why not see Oomnitza for yourself? Sign up for a personalized software demo. Better yet, attend our interactive virtual workshops on software management with Oomnitza experts, and get hands-on experience on how to manage the software lifecycle and automate key business processes to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
1 Gartner, “Infographic: Why Are You Wasting Your SaaS Expenditure?”, October 7, 2021.
2 Everest Group Study
3 Gartner 2020 Cloud End-User Buying Behavior Survey
4 Business Software Alliance Global Software Survey, “Software Management: Security Imperative, Business Opportunity”
5 Deloitte report - Software asset management Reducing costs, mitigating risk, gaining control