How to Tame Your

Software Zoo

For Licensing Purchasers: How To Reduce Your Software Zoo

As part of your job, you are understandably interested in finding ways to save money and reduce the time and effort you spend purchasing your licensing. You may even have a sense that there’s a lot of potential for optimization within your software inventory – and you are right.

Many of you come to find out that they have a real “zoo” of functionally-identical software from many different vendors. You might have 37 different PDF readers, 18 different security programs and several different graphics applications running wild through the company. Purchasing smaller quantities of licenses from more vendors, increases the amount of time you spend in negotiations and leads you to, ultimately, less favorable prices. Not exactly a “win” in your book.

In order to tame your zoo, what you need is insight into which of your software offers duplicate functions. Unfortunately, most current recording and analysis methods only provide an incomplete and inadequate overview of your software inventory. With a better analysis method, you could actually gain an understanding of how much you could save by consolidating your software.

Some examples of software functions include PDF writers, online storage, virus scanners, security programs, graphic programs etc.

Where do Software Zoos Begin?

One day, your IT department comes to you and requests to purchase a new software program. They say there’s nothing like it in our portfolio – they need it now. You oblige and purchase. The next week, Marketing comes to you. They ALSO need a new program, one that they say offers functions that none of your current software provides. You purchase it, unable to justify a reason – beyond the cost – why you should not. Without the ability to identify the various functions of your current software portfolio, you end up quickly acquiring more and more programs.

A software zoo can also grow as a product of mergers and acquisitions. Your company may acquire one that comes along with all of their own software. You might have consolidated the large contracts, but no one has had the time to look into details of niche products and contracts any further. It's precisely this uncontrolled growth which results in unnecessary time and effort spent in purchasing, administration, license management and support. Time to change that!

Find More Savings Through Consolidation

If you could cut down the number of functionally-identical programs at your company, you could massively reduce expenses, because you’d be able to negotiate better rates with vendors due to purchasing larger volumes of licenses. At the same time, you would also reduce time and effort spent in procurement and handling. Can you imagine: instead of negotiating hundreds of maintenance contracts, you would only have to negotiate a few contracts when it came time for renewal. Consolidation doesn’t just make your work easier, but that of your colleagues in IT and license management as well, since the whole "software zoo" requires not only negotiation, management and procurement, but those programs also have to be administered, secured, supported and monitored. Sounds good?

Before: Resource-intensive “Software Zoo”

For Licensing Purchasers: How To Reduce Your Software Zoo
An unnecessary high stock of software with same functions, which you have to buy, feed, care for, replace.

After: Resource-protecting Software Stock

For Licensing Purchasers: How To Reduce Your Software Zoo
Reduced software stock after consolidation, so you have less software to care for and can reduce your purchasing and operating costs.

Better Insights with the Right Analysis Method

You can´t change what you don´t know. 90% of license purchasers can´t say with certainty how much functionally-identical software they actually have at the company. It’s very difficult for them to answer questions such as:

  1. How many different software programs are in use?
  2. How many vendors are in use?
  3. How much software is used that has same functionality?

It’s easy to understand why these questions are hard to answer. Their analysis methods don't provide this information, so they can’t make educated decisions about consolidating functionally-identical software. What would really help them is if they had a way to get greater insight into the software currently available at their company, as well as its respective functions, in order to compare various consolidation approaches.

Remember that Marketing department from our earlier example – the one that requested new software, saying the current programs didn’t suffice? By understanding the functions of available software, your conversation with Marketing about the various programs would be on a level playing field, rather than you having to rely on their justification of the software requests. Beyond simply not having to purchase additional programs, these insights also give you more leverage internally to determine which software could be uninstalled and no longer purchased. These savings would benefit both your company and yourself in reaching your goals.

With better insight into functionally-identical software, you can maximize your savings potential through consolidation and make educated decisions based on data and facts.

Let's Summarize

What are the benefits to consolidating your functionally-identical software?

  • Gain leverage to negotiate better prices with fewer vendors
  • Spend less time and effort on maintenance negotiations
  • Let the whole company benefit by reducing the time and effort spend on purchasing, administering, maintaining, training and supporting software
  • Perform better at your job and provide even more value to your company

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