Organizations have been forced to curtail spending and fine-tune their operations due to the economic uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. It may seem simple to reduce personnel or IT assets to cut costs. However, if these tactics prevent a company from growing, adapting to new working environments or market conditions, or incurring long-term expenses, they may have a detrimental effect.
One way IT departments can save money without reducing staff is by reducing software license fees.
Look at these effective ways to reduce software costs while boosting the value and efficiency of your software system.
Carry out a software audit
Conducting a careful and in-depth software audit is the first step in reducing licensing costs. In addition to understanding the software currently employed by your business or department, you will also know which software is critical to your company.
Once you have determined which software is critical and keeps the company operational, you can put a plan in place to upgrade or replace the non-critical software. Replacing or upgrading software can reduce licensing costs.
The benefits of this detailed audit go beyond just cost savings. You will also have a better understanding of how each piece of software is being used, which will help you make better decisions about the purchase of new software. Many businesses have replaced critical software with open source software to reduce licensing costs.
When conducting your audit, keep these tips in mind:
- Make sure to look at every piece of software currently in use, even if it seems like it is no longer needed or is no longer supported by the vendor. You never know when it may be needed again. If the software is no longer needed but is still being used, consider uninstalling it or removing access to it.
- Make sure to evaluate the cost of the software both up front and over its expected lifespan when determining its total cost. Many software vendors will offer significant discounts for bulk purchases.
- Include the cost of maintenance and support as well as implementation when determining the total cost of the software.
Optimize existing licenses
Many organizations have software license agreements with vendors that include a minimum annual spend. If a company doesn’t use up its full license capacity, it can lose out on the potential for future savings. To avoid paying for more software than needed, IT departments can evaluate their current usage and explore ways to use more of the software’s functionality. Doing so will likely increase usage and decrease the company’s future license spending.
It’s also important to regularly review the software you’re using and if there are updates that have introduced new features or performance enhancements. You don’t need to keep these updates if they aren’t important to your organization. Additionally, you can save significant money by disabling or shutting down inactive user accounts. In many cases, you don’t need to purchase new software licenses; you just need to disable the ones you already have. Most software has an option to let you disable or shut down certain features or plug-ins that your business doesn’t need. Uninstalling these features or plug-ins can save you money.
Negotiate a better deal
You can negotiate with suppliers to get a fixed-fee contract or a pay-for-service contract. You can also look for partners that offer a certain percentage of savings on software maintenance, implementation, or upgrades.
Find out if there are volume license programs available for the software you use. Many companies offer volume license programs for a discounted rate if you commit to a certain volume of purchases. Many companies also offer significant discounts for enterprise or business-class software.
Consider cloud computing
The significant cost savings that come with using cloud software are available to organizations of any size. Infrastructure, equipment, and software costs can all be reduced by using cloud service offerings such as Microsoft 365. Instead of purchasing and installing software on their system, users can access and use cloud-based apps via the internet using software-as-a-service (SaaS) through a predictable monthly subscription. There is no need to invest in hardware or infrastructure that requires ongoing maintenance and costly upgrades.
By investing in cloud computing, you can reduce both your capital and operating costs by using the resources of your cloud provider rather than investing in expensive hardware, software, and license renewal fees.
Get license costs under control with the experts
Having the ability to cut software licensing costs will allow your IT department to make smarter, more innovative investments in the future. To save money on software licensing, businesses must identify hidden costs in their technology infrastructure. By modernizing their IT, businesses can maintain a tighter grasp on software costs and simplify their licensing process. Speak to the IT consultants at Skynet MTS for the best options to leverage your software licenses and watch your business thrive.