As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the global economy and disrupts how most people work, a variety of new business challenges have been introduced with the new work-from-home (WFH) strategies. Although working remotely is not a new practice for some, it poses quite a few challenges, such as resource limitations, workforce deprivation, and financial instability, when done on a much larger scale. This is especially for companies that use expensive engineering software applications that require a lot of resources to run smoothly.
Here are some WFH challenges and ways to address them to ensure the effective management of software application licenses.
Traditionally, users have unhindered access to licenses to ensure productivity. However, working from home requires a stable internet connection and there is always the likelihood of getting disconnected from the virtual private network (VPN). Connectivity issues may force some users to borrow licenses, which would mean that the 1:many ratio of concurrent licenses may now become 1:1. This may, in turn, result to scarcity of available licenses for the rest of the engineers. Therefore, the proper management of this aspect is crucial, as is visibility on who is using what licenses.
To utilize software licenses efficiently, the first thing to be mindful of is the accessibility of the host-bound licenses where the concurrent licenses can be shared. Usage monitoring of purchased licenses allows proper insight and management. Borrowed or reserved licenses can compound the challenge, so metering provides insight here as well. If the company has pay-per-use license agreements, IT managers can determine if there is a possibility to reshuffle users during the work-from-home implementation, as may be necessary, to minimize overdraft usage or to limit token usage.
Since many vendors specify usage restrictions with regard to location, understanding license usage is critical in maintaining compliance with existing software usage rights. Named user licenses may have limitations on the number of machines where it can be installed. Depending on the customers’ license agreement, a lack of available licenses could also occur, which may result in an overdraft plunge. For example, if there is a mix of concurrent (base) + pay-per-use, once a user starts to borrow licenses, there will be an increase in overdraft or pay-per-use charges.
<Therefore, the ability to report application usage by location will be an important tool to use in vendor negotiations to determine actual needs by usage as well as location. Some vendors may express relaxation of policies during this pandemic, but it would be best to confirm it with the vendor and to get it in writing.
License hogs are users who check out multiple licenses from the license server and the results can make it difficult for other users to check out a license due to denials. Some other users may check out a license for a long period of time to “reserve” a license when they finally need one. There may also be users who check out licenses to work on external tasks, unauthorized users, and users who check out multiple licenses on multiple devices. The proper monitoring of users is a big challenge, especially during the long-term work from home setup. It is reported that users during work-from-home are typically not as mindful about checking licenses back in when not in use or paying attention to the number of licenses checked out concurrently.
A real-time notification engine could solve this challenge and drive good behavior. Monitoring resource usage in a work-from-home context may require different processes and increased support. If users have checked out licenses for a long period of time, notifications can be very helpful in freeing up licenses and avoiding denials. Other metrics, such as server down, application approaching max available, and license expiration alerts, can help administrators and managers by bringing these issues to the forefront. These metrics allow them to concentrate on exceptions and not have to log into each individual server repeatedly to find part of the information provided with a complete solution.
With the three-level solution of Open iT LicenseAnalyzer2020™, the management of software licenses can be seamlessly monitored remotely. Usage data is collected, metered, and analyzed to provide detailed reporting for more informed decisions. It also includes real-time monitoring and historical reporting on a wide range of on-premise and Cloud applications, proactive alerts, and customizable dashboards to optimize license resources. Level 3 can uncover and terminate or suspend applications that are not in active use so that licenses may be returned to the pool for other users.
With over two decades of experience in innovating solutions for metering, analyzing, and optimizing engineering and other technical software applications, Open iT understands the hardship in coping with the challenges that organizations face in regards to the current crisis. As part of the continuous advancement of Open iT Services, businesses can schedule a talk and directly connect with Business Solutions Consultants to discuss challenges and a wide variety of possible solutions from optimum cost management, resource optimization, and well-maximized user productivity through metering, analyzing, and optimizing IT assets.