It’s one of the most overlooked elements of operating an IT organization, even for those responsible for thousands of assets nationally or worldwide—the management of software lifecycle and adoption. Let’s face it, IT departments are focused on putting out fires or working on solutions that will help shape their company’s future. Managing software contracts―often dozens, even thousands of them―can easily fall under the “Yeah, we really should get a better handle on those” or “We’ll get around to it when we get around to it” categories.
Managing software lifecycles, including adoption, might be on the backburner of many organizations because they don’t have anybody on staff who really understands the many benefits they’d enjoy if they had a detailed plan for carefully managing them. Now that vendors are decoupling software from related hardware, it’s critical to have a software licensing and adoption plan in place.
Some of the many reasons companies should consider outsourcing the management of software lifecycle and adoption
IT organizations that currently manage―or would like to manage in the future―their software lifecycles in-house might not fully understand the complexities involved. It’s rare for companies to have somebody on staff that has the level of expertise in place to help them fully realize the benefits of managing software lifecycles. Using a managed service provider (MSP) that has a practice solely focused on this critical IT element can save you time, resources, and, of course, unnecessary expenditures. To successfully accomplish this requires in-depth understanding of, to name a few, use rights, metrics surrounding software licenses, and volume purchasing agreements. And if nobody is closely monitoring those contracts, any remediation and/or financial penalties due your organization could go unnoticed.
It’s not uncommon for software companies to conduct audits to confirm that their customers are complying with licenses and ensure that unlicensed software isn’t being utilized. Often companies don’t tackle this issue until they’ve already been audited, and, in many cases, expensively penalized. And preparing for audits ahead of time will uncover valuable information, as well, including how many licenses a company currently holds compared to what it needs.
Adoption, including the alignment of software with key business processes
A key adoption element is ensuring that software utilized is properly aligned with an organization’s various business processes, and uncovering why adoption barriers might exist. A managed services provider worth its weight will conduct interviews with key personnel from different business units to ensure software demands are being properly addressed. In doing so, they can also help you embed any product features to meet the demands of different business units.
If you select a managed services provider to manage and monitor your software lifecycles and adoption, make sure they provide extensive training sessions for end-users, including Train the Trainer sessions for in-house personnel. Don’t just rely on their expertise, learn from them.
Professionals whose sole focus is on software licensing can help customers achieve economies of scale that they probably haven’t enjoyed in the past. Software adoption needs to be closely monitored and understood to ensure investments are optimized and software is right-sized. And an MSP specializing in software licensing can help you understand why and how software licensing can be migrated to more economical and less cumbersome Enterprise Agreements (EA).
Call on the experts
Developing a comprehensive software lifecycle and adoption management plan is a lot for organizations to take on in-house. Relying on experts to deliver those benefits can save time, headaches, and considerable savings. Turning to tenured professionals whose sole focus is on software lifecycle and adoption management will free up valuable IT resources to work on those forward-thinking initiatives they were hired to deliver in the first place. For more information about software lifecycle and adoption management, Contact the SLAM (software lifecycle and adoption management) professionals at SLAM@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.