App Store Essentials: Leveraging Software Asset Data to Achieve Continuous License Compliance

By Laura Noonan

What comes to the business user’s mind when asked about the enterprise
app store concept? An easy-to-browse online catalog. A shopping experience
similar to Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Hassle-free and near-immediate
delivery of apps.

But as an IT professional, what comes to your mind? Making
sure every app is licensed properly and used in compliance with contract
license terms. Using the enterprise investment in software wisely. Optimizing
software spend while minimizing costs. These objectives aren’t always easy to
achieve depending on the size and complexity of the IT environment and considering
the variety and intricacies of software license models.

Fortunately, you can build an enterprise app store that
meets user expectations and needs while also controlling costs and minimizing license
compliance risks. Data is the key. A truly successful app store has access to comprehensive,
detailed and up-to-date data on all software assets. Data makes it possible to
handle software request, approval and fulfillment processes appropriately and
automatically.

But where does the data come from? Gartner, Inc., recommends getting it by integrating
the enterprise app store with internal software asset management and IT
procurement systems. (Source: “Enterprise App Stores Reduce Risk and Improve
Business Results,” Ian Finley, Gartner, 1 February 2012). With this kind of
integration, your app store can ensure license compliance while keeping
software costs under control.

So, what kind of data should your app store obtain from your
software asset management and procurement systems? Here are some examples:

  • Software asset data, including what and how many
    assets of each version and edition you own, how many are installed, where and
    on what devices, and the number of available licenses
  • Metering data to identify which software
    installations are being used and which are not
  • User data, such as user roles and access
    privileges as defined in Active Directory

When you make this kind of data available to your enterprise
app store, you can accomplish much more than merely giving people convenient
access to applications. This data powers your app store with the ability to
address a variety of key IT needs such as:

  • Checking license availability in real time and
    reserving a license at the time of the user request, if a license is available,
    or kicking off the procurement
    process to purchase additional licenses when they are needed
  • Routing
    requests automatically for approval based on asset and user data, leveraging
    best-practice processes to minimize the risk of noncompliance with license
    contract terms
  • Identifying applications that are installed but
    not being used and reclaiming them to optimize usage and avoid costly overbuying

Asset
data makes all of this and much more possible. In the next blog in our App
Store Essentials
series, “Using Your App Store
to Optimize Software Licenses,” we’ll offer guidance on how you can use
features such as license reclamation and software leasing to optimize software
usage and software spend. 

 

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