With the COVID-19 pandemic having a sustained impact across global businesses, and with it looking to continue through the end of 2020 and into 2021, it’s no surprise that industry leaders are looking for cost-cutting measures in order to ensure the longevity of their organizations. And this anxiety is being felt across the IT sector – not just from those at the top. As our recent Beyond the C Word Report demonstrated, nearly 60% of IT Managers and CIOs, from businesses across the world, are anticipating a recession and the challenges that it will bring.
But while many sectors are facing the prospect of redundancies and mass staff lay-offs, there are ways in which organizations, especially those with a large IT reliance, can streamline their processes in order to become more efficient. This will not only help save money in the long run but also save jobs!
In this article, we will examine our latest report findings to demonstrate how utilizing IT Hardware, Software, SaaS and Cloud Asset Management can lead to a more cost-effective business, giving you the tools you need to face an impending recession with more confidence.
How SAM Can Help Cut Costs in Your Organization
Regardless of how long the current crisis lasts, there’s no denying the fact that it will, in all likelihood, irrevocably change the way that businesses operate moving forward. Indeed, one of the key challenges that IT Managers and CIOs anticipate in the post-COVID era is a tightening of budgets for headcount, IT projects, hardware and software. And that’s before you consider that many workforces will now see remote working as a viable alternative to the office, which has been the default for decades!
One of the most important steps that organizations will need to take in the post-COVID world is to ensure that they have a full view of their software estate – from what they own, what’s being used effectively, and what needs licensing. IT Hardware, Software, SaaS and Cloud Asset Management solutions will play a key role in helping businesses develop clear strategies for how to handle their entire estate and create a more cost-effective environment from top to bottom.
For example, if your organization has a clear, transparent view of all your software assets and how they’re being used by staff, IT Managers and CIOs can easily make decisions that benefit the business financially. Paying for lots of licenses when only a few individuals are using the software regularly? That can be optimized. Discover licenses are allocated to individuals that have left the business? Those licenses can be re-harvested.
Software Asset Management is the first step in developing a more cohesive, cost-efficient IT estate. And in a post-COVID economy, that could be invaluable in helping to save jobs across an organization.
The Importance of Licensing & Auditing
We’ve already touched upon how SAM solutions can produce effective cost-cutting results for businesses, but in a COVID-19 context, this is even more important. As the virus swept the globe businesses found themselves rushing to facilitate home working whether that included the purchase of new software or migrating assets to the cloud. According to Certero’s Beyond the C Word data, 1 in 3 IT Managers and CIOs have stated that software licensing is a major challenge, with remote working setups making it more difficult to properly discover, inventory, and track the usage of software applications.
As we move toward a recession it’s vitally important that businesses know exactly where their money is being spent and why – which can be challenging when IT are unable to accurately discover and inventory all devices on the corpate network. But a dedicated IT hardware and software asset management solution, Such as Certero for Enterprise ITAM and Certero for Enterprise SAM, will enable IT to get a full view of the estate and allowing them optimize licenses through asking questions such as;
- What software do I have installed?
- How many licenses have been purchased?
- What is my effective license position for my key vendors?
- Are all of the users actively using this software?
- Are all of the users using the full functionality or could they be on a cheaper license?
Similarly, Software Asset Management isn’t just fundamental in securing licenses and streamlining costs, it also has a huge part to play in safeguarding against hefty fines that could be incurred from an ill-timed audit. According to our data, 36% of IT Managers and CIOs were worried about their compliance position due to their organization’s shift to remote working, with over 20% expecting to see an increase in auditing in a post-COVID environment.
As we’ve discussed, the rush to adopt home-working setups could have left some businesses exposed – with software being procured and depolyed in violation of usage rights. And without an ITAM and SAM solution, it would be difficult to truly understand your compliance position, making the potential risks of an audit even greater! So, in this sense, having a comprehensive solution which provides complete visibility of your organization’s software assets will eliminate the risk of being fined for non-compliance; preventing a cost that many businesses cannot afford to suffer in the post-pandemic economy.
Cutting Costs from Cloud Assets
In a very similar vein to understanding your compliance and licensing position, you need a solution to control your SaaS and Cloud expansion which have come about due to remote working.
The biggest ‘cost risks’ to organizations with regards to their SaaS and cloud environments are Cloud Sprawl, Toxic Consumption, Bill Shock and Shadow IT.
Cloud Sprawl, or the uncontrolled proliferation of a business’s cloud instances, is common when an organization has poor visibility of their cloud estate. As services were hastily provisioned to support working from home en masse little consideration was given to how they would monitor and track these assets going forward. This poor control and visibility leads to multiple cloud instances being provisioned and purchased when it may have been more commercially viable to consolidate. Whilst the majority of CIOs (43%) we spoke to said that this wasn’t a huge concern currently, a Cloud and SaaS Asset Management solution would be beneficial in determining whether certain environments are financially necessary, or whether better rates can be negotiated.
Shadow IT, in a parallel sense, can expose businesses to unregulated costs if a SaaS asset management solution, such as Certero for Cloud, isn’t in place to detect the issues. With large swathes of the workforce converting to remote setups there is an increased risk of employees purchasing and installing software without the oversight of the IT department. This can easily lead to mismanagement, incurring unnecessary costs as a result as organizations miss out on bulk discounts and fail to consolidate technology. Shadow IT also brings security risks as IT has no visibility of where company information may be potentially being stored. This is clearly a concern for IT Managers, with 40% of our respondents labelling it as such. But, as with Cloud Sprawl, the right SaaS management solution can help reduce hidden costs and maintain compliance across your IT estate.
Toxic consumption is the unnecessary use of cloud resources due to poor visibility, where the need for a resource may have ended but the environment continues to incur unnecessary costs. As budgets are reduced organizations need to ensure that they have full visibility of their IT estate and to ensure that they are not wasting money on resources that they are no longer utilizing.
Bill shock is where poor performance and capability planning leads to costly and unexpected bills. With the haste at which the workforce was made remote it is likely that organizations are now starting to see large and unbudgeted expenditure. Organizations must have the ability to track and trend the usage of their cloud estate from the number of users to the amount of resource used. This vital data will ensure that they can forecast upcoming expenditure and look for areas of cost optimization as early as possible.
Assisting the Hybrid Model
It seems fairly likely that a lasting impact of the pandemic will be a cultural shift toward home working – whether that’s full-time or, more likely, a hybrid working model. In this ‘new normal’ managing your assets whether hardware, software, SaaS or Cloud will play a key role. It will be the place of IT Managers and CIOs to ensure that every remote worker has access to the correct software, the estate is compliant across the organization, and that security risks are safeguarded against or eliminated.
All of these functions will make the ability to work from home faster, easier and safer for organizations and their employees, presenting it as a more viable option. This could mean that businesses save money on rent costs as they transition to a hybrid working model, with proper solutions to manage the IT estate guaranteeing effective performance in and out of the office.
Without the guarantee that these soltuions offer, businesses would be exposing themselves to unnecessary financial and security risks by choosing to adopt a more flexible working strategy.
In a time of economic uncertainty, it’s vital that businesses choose solutions that can help reduce waste and make their organization more cost-effective. Certero’s IT Hardware, Software SaaS and Cloud Asset Management Solutions are essential to ensuring that organizations remain compliant, security risks are averted and, most importantly, unnecessary costs are reduced. By investing in the right technologies, businesses can put processes in place that save money and jobs, providing a future for their enterprise and their employees.
If you’d like to discuss your requirements, and how Certero’s unified solutions can help you, speak with one of our experts!