IT environment – Five tips to get a better overview of your company's licences

For growing companies, licence management has become an increasingly important issue. This is mainly because the number of systems and programs we use is increasing, but also because systems often come in the form of cloud-based solutions and not in the form of licensed packages. We have created a list of five licence management tips to give you a better idea of how to get a better overview of your company's licences.

Document your existing licences
It’s important to include all your licences, both those you have in physical form and cloud-based ones. Create a list of all your software licences and place them in different categories, such as "project management", "documentation" and "customer management". Other information that may be important to list includes the cost of the licence, contract length, renewal costs and user numbers. 

It’s worth mentioning that this is a process that can take some time depending on how big your company is and how many licences you have. 

Remember:

  • Licences you no longer use.
    It’s easy to forget to document licences that are no longer in use, yet it’s these in particular that you need to be aware of.
  • Open source systems.
    While these systems don’t cost anything, they may be dependent on licences that do.
  • Licences you have purchased but not yet started using.
    It’s easy to forget about documenting new licences you haven’t yet started to use.

Determine the importance of your current licences
How important are the licences you currently have for the company? This isn’t an easy task, but you can start by doing your own evaluation by ranking your licences. Although this isn’t a flawless method, at least you can quickly see which licences nobody thinks are important, and from there it will be easier to examine them in more depth. 

Another method is to find out how much your licences are actually used. Perhaps you have systems that should, in theory, be fantastic... but which in practice nobody uses. In such cases, this is an excellent opportunity either to educate your employees more in the unused system, or to terminate the licence. Either way, it leads to insight into the productivity of your business.

Standardise the process for purchasing new licences
It’s important that you keep track of which licences are purchased. Many companies don’t have a specific person or team to handle licence purchasing, but instead allow each individual department to decide which licences they need. To make sure that you don’t buy duplicates or use redundant licences, you need a standardised process and rules when it comes to buying new licences. 

Here are a few tips for when you buy licences:

  • Do your homework
    Make sure you really need the licences you plan to buy and always shop around to find the option that best suits you.
  • Involve experts and users in the process
    The people who will use the systems or programs that you're buying licences for are the ones who best know what is required. Involve them in the process.
  • Review licence agreements
    Don't miss important details in terms of binding periods, renewal fees and user numbers.
  • Future proof
    The agreement that you sign today must be as relevant for tomorrow as it is for today. Make sure there’s room both for upgrading and downgrading as required.

Sort your existing licences
This is also a great opportunity to get rid of licences you no longer use and to create a clear system for managing your licences. Far too many companies pay for licences that only one or two employees still use, despite everyone else in the company having switched to another system or way of working. Don't waste money on a licence for a program used by only a few people – or perhaps nobody at all.

Make licence management an important part of your business
It’s important to make licence management a priority. Keep your employees up to date about the work you're doing with licences, so that they don’t suddenly find themselves one morning without access to their system. Allow your IT department to create the processes and rules to be followed, and communicate these to your employees. If everything is managed according to these new practices, licence management will soon become a part of your normal business.

If you have any questions about your licences or how to improve your licence management, please feel free to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to chat about licences or any other aspect of your IT environment.

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