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Monitoring Software Usage: Why is it so important?

8 Jun 2016

Why is monitoring software usage so important? How can this help organizations?

 

Controlling the purchase and installation of your software is obviously a necessary first step in a Software Asset Management (SAM) program, but it is important that you don’t stop there. It is vital that you understand your software usage across the organization as this will deliver benefits in a number of areas. These include:

  • Improved Security – discovering unauthorized software that could cause a security problem
  • Reduced Costs – uncover software that is not being used that can be re-harvested
  • Optimized Licenses – ensure users have the correct license type for their job
  • Increased Productivity – identify software that is not appropriate during work hours

The information produced by this activity will enable you to more fully understand exactly what software is required by the business going forward.

 

Software Usage Challenges

 

There are a couple of potential problems in monitoring software usage with regard to two much-used technologies: virtualization and the Cloud.

 

Virtualization Issues

With virtualization there is firstly the issue of non-persistent desktops. This is where a new desktop is created every time someone logs on and is deleted when they log off. Monitoring tools tend to consolidate usage information and send it back to the server in one file at the end of the day. If a desktop suddenly logs off during the day this usage information will be lost.

Another issue linked to virtualization and compliance is when an application is virtualized and streamed to the desktop. This makes it very difficult to control who is using the software and you could potentially be out of compliance as a result.

 

Monitoring Cloud Applications

Cloud applications are quickly becoming a part of everyday life in the business world. Whilst the benefits of high availability, scalable and managed solutions are very appealing, the commercial impact of not governing the usage of these applications cannot be overlooked.

As a user cannot log-on without having an assigned license, the challenge for enterprises is not preventing under-licensing but instead avoiding the unnecessary cost from paying for licenses that are not used.

Understanding what the business needs and optimizing the subscription to cloud or SaaS applications accordingly will reduce costs – but how do you measure software usage and identify candidates for optimization…?

 

Detailed Software Usage Across the Entire Organization

The answer to this question is Certero for Enterprise SAM. Its AppsMonitor module can provide the detailed software usage information you need across your entire organization and easily cope with virtualized environments.

AppMonitor’s approach to measuring software is unique and highly efficient. Measuring software usage all the time without requiring configuration. It provides a clear view of what has and hasn’t been used – avoiding the traditional ambiguity of tools that report results such as ‘rarely used’ or frequently used’ or the other data-intensive extreme of estimated ‘average time in use’ or ‘number of times launched in a day’. This is subjective at best, limited what software could be measured and is ultimately of little use when it comes to making any decisions to remove software from users.

With out-of-the-box support for virtualization platforms including HP, VMware, Windows, Citrix, Linux, IBM and Oracle VM, it delivers accurate and comprehensive usage information across your virtualized environments.

AppsMonitor automatically calculates statistics daily to show usage over 3, 6 and 12 months periods, as well as any other period that you may require

If you have a question about monitoring your software usage, please get in touch.

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