Software asset management, or SAM, has largely been the concern of organisations with a majority of employees still using traditional enterprise desktops. Then camethe rise of BYOD and mobile solutions. The mobility trend adds another layer to SAM that your IT department can’t afford to overlook. IT departments must ensure they are still tracking all software, even if it sits on multiple devices, to maintain software licensing compliance and maximise cost savings.
BYOD Risk 1: Over-purchasing software licensing
When it comes to software licensing, your organisation runs the same risks with a BYOD program as it does in the traditional desktop scenario. If left unchecked, employees could be chronically downloading applications onto their devices that they don’t actually use. You can imagine how this BYOD situation makes application “creep” and associated software licensing costs skyrocket.
Handling this BYOD software licensing issue might require a SAM approach with mobile device management incorporated. These tools can give application usage data and also assist with a “reclamation” process in which unused software licenses are taken back, enabling better cost efficiencies for your business. Another solution to reigning in the ropes on mobile software licensing is through establishing an enterprise app store through which your IT department can offer a select set of business productivity tools. This still enables BYOD users to select the apps they want to do their jobs, but prevents duplications of similar software and the IT department from having to manage an infinite number of apps.
BYOD Risk 2: Non-compliance due to tricky BYOD software licensing rules
By now you’re well-steeped in the controversy surrounding Microsoft’s new licensing scheme for companion devices with the rollout of Windows 8. But the truth is that software licensing for BYOD through any provider can be complicated. BYOD is still a relatively new phenomenon in terms of how it dictates the way in which technology companies will structure their software licensing going forward. In the meantime, these companies are scrambling for a suitable approach to software licensing so that individuals don’t run their products for free. Does your organisation know if it’s required to have a license for an application that an employee accesses through the corporate network on his or her own mobile device? How many copies of each application need to be licensed for each user in a BYOD scenario?
Questions like these would be best put to software asset management and software licensing consultants, who can help determine which licenses you’ll need depending on the devices in your organisation and the applications you want to use. Going forward, these software licensing experts can help your organisations build a software asset management plan in which you look for opportunities to boost business efficiency and save on software costs.