3 Steps to Trim Your Software Budget

Find out how efficient software management can help trim unnecessary IT costs and improve employee productivity.

Without management, the average device will begin to accumulate software and applications that are no longer being used. Even new devices deployed in the enterprise setting are subject to “bloatware,” the often unwanted trial or bundled software that comes pre-installed on new devices. In a time where every organization is feeling the crunch under COVID-19, more efficient software management can help reduce unnecessary IT costs and improve employee productivity in remote work environments.

Inefficient software management is a source of inefficiency and cost, including:

  • Multiple individual / departmental purchases of the same or similar software that could have taken advantage of volume purchasing
  • Ongoing license or application subscription costs associated with software no longer being used
  • Inefficient purchase decisions, such as software purchases that don’t meet the application hardware requirements
  • Inefficient software distribution, targeting all users rather than only those users who need the software, inevitably increasing cost
  • Unused or underutilized software licenses increasing license costs
  • Unwanted software taking up disk space and impacting device performance, particularly when it comes to programs that open in the background
  • The risks associated with decentralized or Shadow IT purchases which remain unmanaged, improperly configured, or potentially unpatched
  • Potential noncompliance with software audits

Collectively, these inefficient software management practices can overwhelm an IT budget, contribute to visibility gaps, and cause delays or halts in future software rollouts or updates. Efficient software management begins with the following three steps.

Step One: Increase Visibility with IT Asset Inventory

Your first step in regaining control of your software is to run a detailed inventory of all your hardware, software, and network assets across the entire organization. For many organizations, the use of siloed management solutions per device or platform, or manual device management, makes simple inventory reports a time-consuming process. When most of us are now working remotely, the idea of compiling these reports seems impossible.

Thankfully, FileWave’s IT Asset Inventory makes it possible to query and view detailed device and software information from a single dashboard to identify areas for improvement and to help inform decision making. These reports can help you see what software or applications are being used, by whom, as well as the software that may be under-utilized or redundant. If this is your first inventory, you’ll also be able to spot non-compliant and misconfigured software.

Step Two: Manage Software Licenses

FileWave’s License Management allows you to track applications installed against licenses purchased, warning you when you get close to exceeding your license count. With firm numbers in hand, you can detect unused licenses, allowing you to revoke and reassign licenses to users who need them or reducing your purchase and renewal costs.

With the trend toward decentralized purchasing by individuals or departments, one of the biggest cost savings is often the switch to volume purchasing programs such as Apple VPP or Microsoft’s Volume Licensing. Leveraging FileWave for VPP, you can distribute apps directly to managed devices or authorized users in any country where the app is available, keeping track of what has been assigned to each user or device and revoking or reassigning as needed. Best of all, you retain full control over the license process and ownership of apps, which is critical for BYOD devices.

With the increase in remote work for COVID-19, some employees have had to switch from corporate-owned PCs to home devices. With FileWave, you can temporarily revoke licenses from unused machines and temporarily reassign them to BYOD devices.

Aside from inside into what software licenses you need and purchasing them in bulk, the second stage of cost savings comes from only distributing software and licenses to those users that need them. FileWave’s Custom Fields and Smart Groups allow your IT team to create user groups that make future management tasks – such as software distribution – a breeze. Send Photoshop to your design team. Ensure your Sales team has the latest VPN.

Step Three: Set up Centralized Self-Service Applications

Employees are accustomed to finding solutions to their own problems, which could mean introducing unapproved and unmanaged software – Shadow IT. With the rapid switch to remote work, Shadow IT is going to be a significant and growing problem for both visibility and potentially cost. The alternative is to make it easier for employees to get what they need on their own.

FileWave’s Self-Service Kiosk empowers employees to download the software, documents, or resources they need to be productive. All content is pre-approved and correctly configured, all licenses are managed, and employees don’t even need admin rights to install! With that in mind, it’s both faster and easier for employees to start using the software they need to remain productive – making IT the path of least resistance.

Our latest release, FileWave 13.3.1 gives you the actionable datapoints needed for managing your software budget.

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