Employee productivity is crucial to an organization’s success. In Engineering Software Management (ESM), user productivity is anchored on the availability of software licenses and the efficient use of those licenses. However, maintaining the availability of critical engineering applications while keeping costs under control is not an easy task. Thus, IT asset managers often look for new methods and usage metering tools to make sure that employees can work effectively and efficiently.
To keep a high employee productivity, companies would need to identify what could hinder users from doing their work. Here are five things that may impede user productivity and some tips on how to deal with each of them.
Denials. Software license denials interrupt many businesses and organizations, especially those that rely heavily on engineering and design applications. Dozens of software license denial notifications and user complaints flood IT help desk because of this. It can be quite overwhelming for them to balance user demands against a very limited IT budget.
Fix: When the maximum number of licenses is already reached, companies can either buy more licenses or optimize license usage. A tool that could help companies to distinguish between true and false denials, and find out the root cause of each denial, is crucial in avoiding unnecessary purchases of additional licenses.
License hogs/campers. When a user unnecessarily checks out or uses multiple licenses simultaneously, he is a license hog. A license camper, on the other hand, is a user who checks out a license and keeps it even when he is not using it to ensure it is available when the time comes that he may need to use it. Or sometimes, users neglect to properly close an application after finishing a task, and then they open another instance of the same application to do other tasks. There may be good reasons for using more than one license at a time, but if it is against company policy or not typical, this must be corrected to avoid shortages of available licenses, denials, and user complaints.
Fix: Accurate usage reports that detect possible license hogs and campers can help avoid incorrect assumptions on the need for additional licenses. Reporting and alerting can effectively educate users on the benefits of using applications efficiently. A monitoring tool that shows software license usage information per user can be very helpful in correcting inappropriate user behavior that may affect the overall productivity of the team.
Inactive usage. Some users may have opened applications but are not actually using them.
Fix: With a powerful and flexible usage metering and analytics tool, administrators can create various reports for a complete usage analysis that can help them identify whether users are actively using the licenses or not. Further investigation may determine if some users may need training for specific applications, or some may just need reminders for behavior adjustment.
Unlicensed software. Because of high demand for available licenses in contrast to a very limited budget, some users may resort to downloading and installing unlicensed software for their own use. According to the 2018 Global Software Survey, the commercial value of unlicensed software globally is $46.3 billion, and 37% of software installed on personal computers are unlicensed. This can be very harmful to the company. When detected during software vendor audits, unlicensed software may lead to hefty fines. It may also expose the entire system to hacking, malware attacks, and other security risks.
Fix: It is imperative that IT asset managers understand the license terms and policies of the software agreement with the software vendor. Keep track of the software contracts, licenses, and inventory of devices that are using the licenses. IT managers can also enforce software usage policies for the company to control and avoid unauthorized software installations.
Expired or outdated licenses: Licenses that are expired or outdated may cause applications to stop working, which could disrupt user productivity, or if applications still work, continued usage of those applications create non-compliance and may be found during vendor audits, which could cost the company a lot of money.
Fix: Remembering when each software license needs to be renewed or repurchased is near impossible, which means that some renewals may either be delayed or neglected. It is important to have an ESM tool that allows for automatic notifications of these dates. Not only would companies be warned so they can better prepare, but they would also be provided with the information necessary to make the best purchasing decisions. As a result, they can spend more time preparing for a better negotiating position with the software vendor, which could drastically reduce costs.
IT asset managers must choose tools that could collect accurate and complete software usage information to understand their organization’s true software usage and improve workforce productivity.