Increase ROI by Integrating an Enterprise App Store with Your Software License Optimization Solution
Enterprise app stores are taking off, driven by the enormous success and popularity of consumer app stores. Enterprises are eager to offer their employees this consumer-oriented experience at work, so they benefit from the simplicity, convenience and speed of buying online and downloading apps almost instantly. What these enterprises are discovering is that an enterprise app store can and should be an integral part of an overall Software License Optimization program to increase efficiency and drive higher return on investment (ROI) across both the application portfolio and the asset management program itself.
Easier access to business apps through an enterprise app store delivers clear benefits for employees. That alone is a compelling reason for embracing this technology because it enables enterprises to address the demand for the consumerization of IT. However, the new self-service model also offers major benefits for the enterprise. Per Gartner, enterprise app stores can increase ROI of the application portfolio as well as reduce license compliance risks, license fees and administration expenses. And considering that software represents 25 percent or more of total IT spend for the majority of enterprises, taking active steps to increase ROI in this area is of vital importance.
An app store on its own can deliver significant value to the enterprise. However, to maximize ROI and unify application management processes in your organization, your app store should be part of an overall application usage management strategy. That requires integration with solutions that enable IT to effectively manage software licenses and maintain continuous license compliance while optimizing usage and minimizing spend. Software License Optimization is the next generation of Software Asset Management (SAM). It goes beyond simply comparing license counts to install counts to fully leveraging license entitlements. In doing so, it reduces license consumption and ongoing software costs. An enterprise app store can help the Software License Optimization solution enhance the management of on-premise, virtual and cloud-based applications and associated software licenses.
In this white paper, we focus our attention on the value an enterprise can derive from integrating an app store with its Software License Optimization solution — benefits that include an enhanced ability to maintain license compliance and optimize software spend.
Software License Optimization plus Enterprise App Store Delivers Significant Business Benefits
Enterprise app stores are already delivering tangible benefits to companies in a broad range of industries. An app store replaces cumbersome software request processes with a self-service experience that closely resembles shopping for consumer apps. As a result, employees enjoy higher productivity and faster delivery of the applications they need to be productive.
An app store also helps drive down costs by taking a huge load off the IT staff through the automation of the software request and approval process. Companies report saving hundreds to thousands of hours in IT staff time as a result of this automation, depending on the number of users and applications.
When done right, enterprise app stores not only provide employees with a rich selection of approved applications from which to choose, but they also allow IT to maintain control of the approval and fulfillment process to ensure fast delivery. When an app store is used in conjunction with a Software License Optimization solution, management can be confident that controls are in place to ensure that no software is installed without a license and that existing licenses are fully utilized. This minimizes the risk of license noncompliance and helps optimize software spend.
Managing the Cost and Complexity of Enterprise Apps
Despite the similarities between consumer and enterprise app stores, a successful enterprise app store isn’t merely the equivalent of a consumer app store dropped into an enterprise environment. That’s because enterprise applications differ substantially from their consumer counterparts in several important ways: Enterprise software costs more, the licensing terms are far more complex and if you don’t apply Software License Optimization strategies, you are almost certain to overspend on software licenses and maintenance.
The Cost of Enterprise Software
Unlike the typical consumer apps, enterprise applications can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars per user. Consequently, you can’t allow users to indiscriminately download business applications. You need to establish and enforce an approval process for these higher-cost applications. In addition, you may also need to track costs by individual or business unit for purposes of chargeback or showback.
Because of the higher costs, your enterprise app store and Software License Optimization solution have to employ effective strategies to maintain control of your application portfolio. For example, organizations need to minimize the existence of unused and under-used software throughout the IT environment. In establishing software asset management processes, however, it’s important to avoid burdening users with overly complex software request procedures or long delays in fulfilling requests.
The complexity of software licensing terms is an additional factor to contend with in establishing a successful enterprise app store and Software License Optimization solution. Enterprises purchase licenses in bulk for large groups of users through volume purchase agreements. The terms of these licenses are complex and vary widely from one vendor to another. Failure to comply with license terms could result in unbudgeted software audit true-up costs and penalties.
To avoid these unplanned and unnecessary expenses, IT and procurement personnel must have processes and tools in place to maintain license compliance. An audit trail of license entitlements and software deployments is also essential so you can demonstrate compliance to software vendors if and when it comes time for an audit. Both the app store and Software License Optimization solution play a role in maintaining an audit trail and staying in license compliance.
The Need to Optimize Software Licenses
In some enterprises, as much as 35 percent of IT spend goes toward software. To reduce software spend while increasing the value you derive from software investments, you must actively avoid overbuying of licenses and ensure that you fully utilize the licenses you have. That means operating your app store in concert with your Software License Optimization solution. License optimization involves leveraging software product use rights and analyzing usage data to minimize license consumption and reduce ongoing software costs. An integrated enterprise app store aids the license optimization process by automating the license reclamation process — reclaiming and reassigning licenses for applications that are installed but are no longer being used.
The Power of App Store and Software License Optimization Integration
App store integration with a Software License Optimization solution enables you to accomplish much more than merely providing convenient and efficient access to applications. You can also achieve continuous license compliance and conduct automated license reclamation campaigns to avoid over buying software licenses.
Continuous License Compliance
When a user requests an application from the app store, the store immediately accesses asset data for that application from the Software License Optimization solution, including the license position of the requested application (the number of licenses owned, how many copies of the software are installed or in use, and how many licenses are currently available).