Housing providers’ budgets are facing increasing pressure due to growing demand and shrinking supply, so they must find ways to make savings where they can. One area housing providers can do this is in managing their IT estate; ensuring costs are minimised and the productivity benefits offered by technology are realised...
COMPAREX UK Blog Editor
Software is one of the main offenders for spiralling cost, both in terms of procurement and ongoing management of assets. Software Asset Management (SAM) is one way to reduce costs, enabling teams to focus stretched budgets on more pressing areas of business.
Here are four ways in which housing providers can take a 'SAM approach' to cost reduction:
Having a comprehensive view of current licences in use across a housing provider’s estate can significantly reduce costs. IT teams should create visual represntations of their software portfolios and compare the data against existing contracts; preventing unnecessary expenditure and protecting businesses against needless licence investment by assessing how critical certain software is to the organisation.
A full overview of software in use is not a fix-all – understanding if a piece of software is essential and how it will be used is also extremely important. IT staff must ascertain who is using software and how important it is to their job performance. This is imperative in situations where applications are no longer used or required due to staff changes but maintenance and payment for software continues.
The number and type of required licences can often be streamlined through effectively consolidating software products that perform similar functions. Uncontrolled software usage both gives software management teams unnecessary workloads, and wastes money that housing providers could use elsewhere. Consolidating applications can generate instant savings, without sacrificing functionality.
Cloud can increase flexibility and help lower expenditure. However, it also complicates SAM as there is no longer a definitive number of users, workloads or devices, making ascertaining usage levels and application usage much harder. A way to combat this is through a centralised ‘dashboard’ that provides increased visibility into how applications are being used and which are most accessed.
The methods outlined above can significantly reduce housing providers’ IT expenditure. However, to fully benefit from these four practices, businesses must execute them frequently and effectively. If software use is not regularly reviewed, housing organisations can find costs spiral out of control.
Investing in SAM technology or engaging with an expert from outside of the organisation for help, will help housing organisations maintain a firm grip on IT costs and minimise budget overspend.
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