Government IT departments face the dual pressures of severe budget restrictions and a growing list of strategic objectives—from gaining efficiencies and savings through software virtualization and migrating to Windows 7 to implementing software licensing management best practices that ensure software compliance and optimized spend—all geared towards increasing department or agency innovation, efficiency and productivity.
Reducing IT Spend
For government IT, modernizing operations and enhancing services while reducing IT costs is a growing priority. Software spend represents an opportunity to deliver measurable savings. The budget for software licensing and maintenance (as much as 80% of ongoing IT budgets) is a prime area for cost control. IT and procurement should be looking to squeeze maximum value out of the IT software budget. But while applications have become strategic to business operations and total investment in applications continues to climb, they are amongst the least well managed of all strategic assets.
Controlling software spend and optimizing software licenses starts with a comprehensive Software License Optimization strategy designed to:
- Avoid unnecessary software licenses and software maintenance fees
- Reduce the risk of under-licensing software and failing a software audit
- Manage software entitlements so they provide the most value when and where they are needed
- Coordinate software purchases and software license contracts across departments and agencies
- Accurately forecast and plan future software spend
- Conduct smarter, fact-based negotiation with software vendors
Increase productivity and cut costs with an online app store for requesting software
Software License Optimization centralizes software licensing management and extends software asset management across the organization to deliver measurable IT cost reductions on an ongoing basis.
Simplifying Windows 7 and 8 Application Migrations
Government departments and agencies are making major strides in their Windows 7 migration efforts, and some are already putting plans in place for Windows 8. For both Windows 7 and Windows 8, however, application compatibility continues to be a primary challenge. Application Readiness solutions that encompass automated application compatibility testing, application packaging and software virtualization are proving to be highly beneficial because they accelerate and streamline the migration process. Whether the migration is to Windows 7 or Windows 8, the impact on IT in terms of time, budget and internal reputation is significant. Ensuring application compatibility and deploying applications for optimal performance and functionality is an essential requirement.
To simplify the management and deployment of applications, government agencies often combine Windows 7 migrations with software virtualization projects with the goal of an optimized desktop. A number of departments are now bringing Windows 8 into the equation. IT organizations can smooth Windows and software virtualization migrations with Flexera Software AdminStudio Suite, an application readiness solution that reduces risk, time and costs by fixing application compatibility issues. AdminStudio helps develop clearly defined, trackable and repeatable processes for both Windows 7 and software virtualization migrations as well as the migration to Windows 8.
Putting Software at Employees' Fingertips through User Self Service
Government employees are no longer satisfied with burdensome, manual software request processes. They want to order desktop applications at work just as easily as if they were downloading music, books or games at home. One way public-sector IT can address this demand is by creating online app stores. An app store brings the simplicity of online shopping to the workplace. Government employees browse a catalog, add applications to a shopping cart and check out. Once the order is complete and all approvals have been gathered, applications are delivered to the requester's device within minutes.
Many government agencies are implementing online app stores with the help of Flexera Software App Portal. This innovative solution enables on-demand software provisioning from an online app store while empowering IT with enhanced control of software assets. App Portal initiates the fulfillment process, including gathering all necessary approvals and submitting requests to deployment tools such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) for installation.
The solution also offers strong software asset management capabilities that ensure compliance with licensing requirements, reclaim and recycle unused licenses and generate reports on software requests, approvals, installations and purchases. With these reports, managers can measure success and make sound decisions regarding software licensing and usage across the agency.
Self service increases productivity by giving government employees fast, easy access to the applications they need. Additionally, it saves hundreds of hours of IT time in two key ways: It eliminates cumbersome, manual processes that have been traditionally used to handle one-off software requests, and it automates the delivery of applications to users.
Ensuring Software Licensing Compliance
With the power of centralized software licensing management made possible through an Software License Optimization solution, organizations can ensure that the right users have the right software at the right time, tighten the reins on software spend and use budget savings to further other strategic objectives.
A Software License Optimization solution can also ensure your department or agency is in continuous software licensing compliance by: