There is a new breed of software emerging that promises real savings to companies of all sizes and shapes.
It is called Software License Optimization, and is an outgrowth of software asset management. I was in a bar today with a mate of mine, and he mentioned a company that produces a software tool that sits and watches what your users are doing on their workstations. No, it isn’t another piece of security software, or something to block people spending their days checking their share portfolios when they should be working. Instead, this software is a usage measurement tool, specifically interested in what applications each user is driving, and more to the point how those applications are being used.
So, for example, the tool tracks how many people in the company use PowerPoint, but more importantly how many just look at presentations with it as opposed to actually creating them. Frequently, less than 10% of users ever build presentations – most just look. The result is that 90%+ of the users will be quite happy with the PowerPoint Viewer capability – which is FREE. Similarly for Acrobat and a range of other desktop tools.
It seems to me it is high time for this market to emerge. Some analysts claim that as much as 60% of all software purchased remains unused, on the shelf or ends up being surplus to requirements. And this type of tool provides an easy, painless route to potentially significant cost savings. One company in the energy industry claims to have saved $250,000 through use of this type of tool. And while some may claim that it is a bit late when the software has already been purchased, this technique can also be used to save on maintenance charges. It is hard for any vendor to argue when the evidence shows the software is not being used, and has been deleted.
I look forward to seeing how this new market develops.