Getting Maximum Value from Enterprise Software with Application Usage Management

Executive Summary

Enterprises today are investing heavily in applications, with software licenses accounting for as much as 35 percent of total IT spend. Getting maximum return on that investment has become a business imperative. But enterprises such as yours face many obstacles in their efforts to use software assets effectively and gain maximum value from them. Thousands of applications may be spread across multiple business units and geographies. Those applications change constantly as IT rolls out upgrades, patches and new applications. Moreover, licensing terms, conditions and use rights differ from one application type and vendor to another. The various aspects of managing and maintaining those applications and optimizing their usage are typically handled by multiple groups using siloed processes and point solutions, making coordination across the enterprise cumbersome at best.

The continuous stream of evolving and emerging technologies only adds to the problem, placing intense pressure on the IT staff to adopt new application delivery models and implement self service to give users convenient application access. More recently, users have begun demanding that the enterprise adopt the emerging bringyour- own-device (BYOD) model in which employees access enterprise applications using personal devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Addressing these challenges effectively will be essential to successfully guiding the enterprise through crucial technology initiatives that include desktop transformation, consumerization of IT, virtualization and cloud computing while ensuring the management of compliance risk and software spend. You can achieve success in these areas by embracing Application Usage Management, a consolidated and centralized approach to maximizing software value and optimizing usage across the application lifecycle.

The Growing Need for Robust Management of Software Assets

Software has become a strategic asset because of its ability to increase productivity, drive efficiency, enable business innovation and give the enterprise a competitive edge. You must ensure not only that the enterprise has all the applications needed to support its business objectives, but also that the enterprise is getting maximum value from its software investment.

To achieve these goals, you must manage applications carefully, control access and optimize usage of these assets throughout the application lifecycle. That lifecycle encompasses procuring applications, preparing them for deployment, delivering them to users, controlling usage and ensuring compliance with license contract terms, optimizing spend, maintaining applications through upgrades and patches, and retiring applications that are no longer needed. Without the right processes and solutions, you have no way to manage the many deployment, compliance and spend issues that may arise at various stages of the lifecycle.

Giving users access to applications isn’t easy because enterprises have thousands of different applications spread across organizational units and geographies. Preparing these applications and keeping them in a state of readiness for deployment across the enterprise has become more complex due to the growing variety of application types, platforms and application delivery methods. Without a unified, consistent and standard process, you may not be able to deploy applications reliably and cost effectively.

In addition, the application environment is constantly changing and IT must cope with the reality that 30 percent of applications change each year. The rate of change with respect to the desktops, servers and other devices on which applications run continues to accelerate. Moreover, there is constant pressure to migrate to new operating systems, adopt virtualization, cloud and other new technologies and respond to user demands for consumerization of IT and BYOD — all of which not only make managing application usage more complex but also introduce risks related to both license compliance and security. You have to manage all that change without any more hours in the day or more people to handle the tasks.

Ensuring license compliance and optimizing spend are also difficult jobs because commercial software is characterized by complex license agreements with diverse terms and conditions, licensing models and use rights that vary from vendor to vendor and product to product. You must maintain license compliance by understanding and adhering to licensing terms and conditions. At the same time you must avoid overspending on software by fully leveraging license entitlements and selecting optimal license types to meet the needs of your enterprise. It’s also important to prevent people from going around standard procurement and deployment processes by directly downloading applications to company-owned devices.

License compliance is further complicated by the fact that IT is no longer installing applications only on desktops or laptops. IT now makes applications available to multiple physical devices as well as to virtual machines and cloud environments that usher in a more dynamic, agile application environment. As a result, it’s now more difficult to understand and comply with license terms.

Unfortunately, your enterprise may lack the data that could help you understand and demonstrate license compliance, so you are at the mercy of the vendors when it comes to software audits. Furthermore, without centralized procurement and clear visibility into application delivery and usage, you may purchase redundant applications across business units and geographies or overbuy licenses. You may miss opportunities to negotiate volume discounts and find that ad hoc purchases outside central procurement further drive up software spending.

Enterprises like yours can’t afford overspending on software. And they definitely can’t afford the cost or risk of audit true-ups that result from being out of compliance and can run in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.

The right set of integrated solutions and processes allows you to keep up with constantly changing technology and take advantage of new efficiencies. Right now, however, most businesses lack the strategies or technology to do that effectively. Many use homegrown tactical approaches, point solutions and siloed processes to try to manage these issues. The answer lies in replacing tactical efforts with a strategic approach to Application Usage Management.

The Solution: Application Usage Management

Application Usage Management helps you increase usage of and get more value from your applications at every stage of the application lifecycle. With Application Usage Management in place, you can focus on strategies for innovation and business growth knowing that your applications are supporting those priorities in a cost effective, reliable and compliant way.

Application Usage Management solutions maximize software usage and value by facilitating procurement, accelerating the preparation and delivery of applications to on-premise, virtual and cloud environments, establishing strong controls and continuous compliance with license agreements, optimizing software usage and spend, and maintaining applications through patches, updates and other changes. With comprehensive Application Usage Management, you can:

  • Prevent software overspend
  • Reduce license liability risk
  • Bring consistency and standardization to application deployments and support new application delivery models
  • Maximize utilization of on-premise, software as a service (SaaS), virtualized and cloud-based enterprise software
  • Minimize the complexity and costs of migrating to new platforms, operating systems and technologies
  • Future proof applications so you can quickly adapt to and embrace technology innovations

Application Usage Management for the Enterprise

Most enterprises aren’t equipped with the solutions or information to strategically manage applications throughout the application lifecycle. That’s why so many of them choose Application Usage Management from Flexera Software. Our customers look to us because of key differentiators that set us apart from other software providers: the trust we earn as a neutral third party, the knowledge we’ve gained from living and breathing licensing, installation and compliance, and the embedded automation and intelligence designed into our products.

The key to the Flexera Software difference comes from the fact that we deliver strategic solutions to both the software producer and enterprise communities. We’ve been working with both types of customers for more than 20 years, which means we know all the current licensing and deployment models and are already incorporating tomorrow’s models into our solutions.

Because we know your suppliers and how they build their applications, you can trust our solutions to work with all your critical software. Our solutions for both software producers and enterprises have the essential capabilities to offer value at each stage of the application lifecycle.