It’s the end of the year and the holidays are here, which means it’s officially my busy period. And funny enough, there’s usually always a direct correlation between my somewhat increased work load and most major software’s end of year. Most vendors will gear up to get that extra revenue or increase their audit activities to meet their target and you may be unlucky enough to be involved in one of their software audits as we speak.

Over the past twenty-two years, I have been involved with ITAM customers who fall into the trap of thinking one size fits all. It’s worth spending time working out what users really need to do their jobs and rightsizing their software and hardware needs, rather than making blanket guesses around license number or specification needs. It’s still surprising to me that companies are willing to waste money when they could save 15-30% if both their hardware and software was optimized in a more efficient way. And, rightsizing licenses can be a good cost reduction exercise; we‘re seeing quick wins in several enterprise areas from reductions in  software agreements or  hardware refreshes.

Over time, I see these behaviors changing somewhat with cloud software, hardware, and subscriptions. No one wants to pay a surprise “cloud shock” bill or to explain that certain hardware was over-spec’d and you’re having to pay a premium.

The key takeaway here: don’t be under or over licensed but buy just what you need. With electronic deliveries, cloud-based hardware, and next-day shipping, things can be had within minutes or hours not days. So, don’t build a cushion of assets or a stockpile of software; have just what you need on hand with an electronic software store, for example. An electronic store could be a way of automating the delivery and removal of software to a requester.  And what about hardware? You’ve right-sized, done the user profiling, and made the hardware savings gain, but you don’t want to stockpile hardware assets. Instead, work with your chosen supplier and let them bond the stock until you really need it.

These types of processes are slick, and if you have tools like Ivanti that have the ability to build or deploy an asset in a few minutes, then you improve the requester’s experience and optimize your hardware and software estates.

So, if I were an asset, which I hope I am to Softcat, I’d be saying “Look after me better, and I’ll help you cut costs!