Software Lifecycle Management in today's IT environment

by Tyler Denney

04 October 2021

Business professionals looking at the new software

SLM is critical for your company’s success—here’s why

Having a Software Lifecycle Management (SLM) strategy is becoming increasingly important as spend on software continues to increase and as vendors continue to evolve their software licensing structures.

The software market has grown by over 43% in the last few years. In fact, experts project that by 2022, worldwide software spend will be up to $669 billion, making software the fastest growing IT category.

A few different dynamics have contributed to this rapid change, including network modernization and digital transformation and, of course, the work-from-home surge that happened as a result of the pandemic.

Flexible work trends have created numerous software-related challenges that companies must resolve, including the need for ubiquitous video conferencing software and better cybersecurity software coverage.

Procuring the appropriate software is only the tip of the iceberg — effectively managing that software over the lifecycle of the agreement is where the true value lies. Having a clearly defined SLM strategy is key to ensuring that success.

What specific challenges do companies face regarding software?

Let’s dive a little deeper into the software management challenges that SLM can help resolve:

Overlicensing / underlicensing — Purchasing software agreements gives organizations access to a multitude of software applications. The issue comes in managing visibility into what is actually being consumed across software contracts with multiple vendors. In many cases, organizations either don’t fully leverage the licenses they’ve already paid for, leaving money on the table, or they are overconsuming licenses and are at risk of an audit or true-up.

Tracking spend on software licenses — Many organizations lack the tools and resources needed to accurately track and optimize software spend. Without the right tools, they lack visibility into spending, and without resources, they lack the means to act on any insights they discover.

Challenges in creating processes for adoption — A clearly defined process is necessary in order to maximize the adoption of end-user software applications. Utilization of software may be low in some cases if the software applications weren’t properly launched or if employees haven’t been properly trained on how best to access or use it.

Governance and security — Ensuring employees have access to the software they need while restricting their access to other software helps maintain the proper level of control to avoid unintended consumption and security risks.

License tracking and consumption optimization — SLM provides visibility into license consumption against entitlements and gives actionable insights that help optimize utilization and spend. The best SLM solutions will also provide insights into deeper level KPIs, such as sub-level consumption on product families, suites and SKUs, as well as spending pattern trends.

Cost savings — Having visibility into software spend (when, where and how much) provides the insights and feedback loop needed to effectively optimize the utilization of software agreements, which can result in significant cost savings. With this enhanced visibility into spending, we’ve helped some organizations save hundreds of millions of dollars.

Right-sizing — The consumption visibility SLM provides can also help organizations right-size their software contracts. In some cases, organizations find they are overlicensed based on their current needs and future direction. SLM visibility gives the detail needed to renegotiate software contracts to align with the needs of the business.

Efficient management of changing license structures — The best SLM solutions also help organizations stay informed of changing license structures and procurement models to avoid unwanted surprises and to ensure the best fit with business needs.

With IT budgets continuing to climb, assembling the best combination of software that you actually need and effectively managing it is becoming increasingly critical to organizations’ success. Deploying an SLM strategy reduces complexity and overspending, helps you make informed decisions, reduces uncertainty and empowers you to get the most out of your software estate.

If your organization needs help with software lifecycle management, our team of experts is on standby to assist. For more information, visit our SLM site.

Tyler Denney

Tyler Denney

Software Lifecycle Management in today’s IT environment