First things first
The starting point for all of the aforementioned points is the same: having licensing insight. You need to know what your current situation looks like, so you have a good foundation for any future decisions. The definition of insight is ‘an accurate and deep understanding’, but we see all too often that licensing decisions are based on assumptions, incomplete information, and inaccurate data. Treat your licensing decisions as you would any other big investment: base them on complete and accurate information.
To make a simple analogy; imagine you want to buy a house. Before looking at the market, you would start by assessing your needs. Do you want an apartment, a duplex, a single house? Should it be in a small town, in a big city? Are the schools near and reputable? This list can be exhaustive when you’re looking at making such a large investment. Taking from another viewpoint, let’s say you decided to buy a house that needed improvements. Again, you would want to know the extent of the improvements and the cost before you made a sound decision.
Why should your process be any different when it comes to your IT investment? Before purchasing any new licenses, you should understand which ones you already have, and possibly reassign them, if necessary. Or you have shelfware licenses which are better to terminate than continuing to pay support for. Maybe your organization is looking to migrate to the cloud. Regardless of the situation you’re in, you need to have insight into your licensing estate to determine which option is best.