Imagine running a package delivery business without clear visibility into your vehicle fleet. How many vehicles do you have? Where are they located? What are their configurations, capacities and maintenance requirements? What is the status of their vehicle registrations? Without detailed data, you cannot manage them efficiently. For example, you may inadvertently use high-capacity trucks to deliver small loads, which would drive up your costs. Or, because you do not have visibility into vehicle registrations status, you may have vehicles with expired registrations, raising the risk of fines and late payment penalties.
IT departments often find themselves in a similar situation. In much the same way as a package delivery business delivers products, IT delivers services to the enterprise. To make those deliveries, IT uses hardware assets such as desktops, laptops and servers, and software assets ranging from operating systems and virtualization software to enterprise applications and databases.
Reliable IT service delivery is critical to success for most businesses today. Yet many IT organizations struggle to manage IT assets effectively because they do not have a clear picture of the assets they have deployed. Consequently, they may overpay business personal property taxes due to inaccurate hardware asset data, carry multiple software products that provide the same functionality and pay maintenance on shelfware—that is, software that is not being used. Lack of visibility also increases risk. The IT staff may not be able to detect unauthorized software in the IT environment, creating an exposure to serious security breaches. Moreover, hardware that contains proprietary data may have disappeared without the knowledge of the IT staff.
Flexera Software® helps IT organizations tackle the asset management challenge with FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Clients and FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers. These solutions provide a comprehensive, detailed and normalized view of hardware and software assets across the enterprise—a single source of truth for inventory data. With this data, you can enhance business processes, not only within IT but also in other departments such as finance and security. As a result, you can drive down costs, increase IT staff productivity and reduce security risk.
This paper discusses the need for effective IT asset management, how FlexNet Normalized Inventory solutions help IT organizations meet the need, and the resulting business benefits. The paper focuses on software assets because they are more difficult to manage than hardware assets, and they have a significant impact on cost and risk.
Enhancing Business Processes with Normalized Inventory Data
IT spend is typically two to four percent of revenue, and software spend typically accounts for 20 to 30 percent of that amount. To manage software assets effectively and keep these costs in check as well as to minimize risk, IT needs clear and comprehensive visibility into these assets:
- What desktops, laptops and servers are deployed? Where are they located and who owns them— individual user, datacenter, business unit or cost center?
- What virtual machines are deployed and on which physical hosts?
- What software assets are deployed and where, including precise quantities, versions and editions?
- Who uses the software and what is the frequency of usage?
- Is unauthorized software installed?
- Do we have multiple software titles with the same functionality?