12-Step Plan to Slash Software Costs - InformationWeek
03:15 PM

12-Step Plan to Slash Software Costs

Avoiding budget surprises is a top priority for IT. Two main keys: Spend smart up front, then manage licensing and maintenance.

Focus On Life Cycle

After getting a strong initial deal, it's just as critical to effectively manage software licenses and ongoing maintenance throughout the product life cycle -- but often more difficult:

7. Establish effective asset management. Yes, that's easier said than done, but it's not uncommon for 30% or more of software purchases to be undeployed, resulting in a substantial effective increase in maintenance costs. It's a worthwhile effort.

8. Invest in reliable asset tools and supporting processes. There are many products on the market to support asset management, but the tool is only as good as the information that goes into it. We often see these systems become error ridden -- increasingly so over time.

9. Holistically manage the software supplier relationship. The ability to hold vendors accountable and ensure that internal contract and supplier management capabilities are nurtured is thankless but critical work. This role is a misunderstood and underserved specialty. (We discuss four ways to make this happen in our full report.)

10. Keep an eye on alternatives. Never let a software supplier believe it's the only game in town. Yes, we like stability in the application portfolio, but maintain at least the appearance that you have real options on the table.

11. Understand and manage the long-term impacts of software spending, and proactively manage the architectural choices that impact it. Nothing is more valuable to the enterprise IT function than an architect who understands the interaction of technological components within the portfolio.

12. Integrate operations and maintenance planning into project management office processes for project delivery. Few project teams consider "run" cost requirements. Most often, project teams are rewarded for on-time and on-budget performance related to delivery of project requirements and objectives -- despite trade-offs that may shift increased costs to ongoing operations.

Steve Keegan and Andrew Alpert are principals at IT consultancy and advisory firm Pace Harmon. Write to us at iwletters@ubm.com.

chart: What's your company's top business priority?

2 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll