Complete Software License Optimization and IT Service Management Solution
The task facing IT professionals today is complex and multifaceted. IT is charged with delivering the services the business needs at agreed-upon service levels across an increasingly complex and continually changing IT infrastructure. This infrastructure includes physical, virtual, cloud and mobile resources, some of which reside outside the enterprise. The enterprise relies on that infrastructure to drive the efficiency and innovation needed to ensure long-term business success.
To meet the challenge, IT organizations are deploying IT service management (ITSM), IT asset management, (ITAM), and software asset management (SAM) integrated solutions. These solutions provide sophisticated tools that implement and automate a number of IT processes based on best practices. ITSM solutions help IT increase its efficiency and effectiveness in keeping the IT infrastructure healthy and performing at the required service levels. By increasing the productivity of the IT staff, ITSM solutions also help drive down costs.
The pressure to contain costs is relentless. Software accounts for up to a third of total IT spend, and software licenses account for a substantial portion of that amount. Unlike hardware, software can’t easily be seen, so IT organizations often lack the information and processes needed to gain insight into and improve software license optimization. This often results in license overbuying and waste. Consequently, software licenses present an opportunity for significant cost reduction.
The Solution: Software License Optimization Solutions Go Well Beyond the Typical Software Asset Management (SAM) Capabilities of ITSM Tools.
Table 1 below shows the key capabilities of Software License Optimization and ITSM solutions. While there is some overlap, the two solutions solve different but closely related problems. And that’s why there’s value in integrating these two solutions-- to achieve a level of service delivery, operational efficiency and financial control that is not otherwise possible.
The Power of Software License Optimization and ITSM Integration
Organizations are now realizing the business value of integrating Software License Optimization and IT Service Management processes and tools. As shown in Figure 1 below, FlexNet Manager Suite provides a normalized list of software titles per device (desktop, laptop, server) to the ITSM Configuration Management Database (CMDB). This data enhances ITSM functions such as Change, Configuration, Performance and Capacity management. For example:
- Incident & Performance Management: Speed mean time to repair by knowing what software is installed on that machine—helpful, for example, when there is a performance problem with the system.
- Change Management: A new version of SQL Server is released; this data makes it easy to see which machines should be involved in the change.
The hardware asset data from the Atrium CMDB also enhances Software License Optimization processes in FlexNet Manager Suite. For example:
- Ownership: This allows FlexNet Manager Suite to report license consumption and compliance by enterprise groups (cost centers, business units, etc.).
- Role (production, test, development, backup/failover, etc.): Entitlements for a server application might vary depending on that server’s role. For example, a cold backup server may not require a separate license from the primary production server. This data enables FlexNet Manager Suite to apply the appropriate product use rights to reduce server license consumption.
ITSM and Software License Optimization solutions have evolved along parallel but complementary paths. Enterprises are realizing that the integration of ITSM and Software License Optimization is a natural progression of this evolution. By enabling these two solutions to interoperate and share data, enterprises can enhance the capabilities of both. With this combination, an enterprise can drive down costs even further and lower the risk of license compliance violations while ensuring that business users have the applications and service quality they need to continue to achieve business success.