Buy or Build Your License Management Solution?

Most organizations aware of the importance of license usage metering typically have a solution in place, which could be an in-house monitoring solution or one provided by a vendor like Open iT. But how do you select an engineering license management solution that you know is the right one for you?

Buy versus Build

The decision starts with evaluating your needs in license consumption reporting. There are many software license management tools available that meter licenses. If you already have an in-house monitoring solution, it’s best not to base your requirements on your current tool.

Instead, start from scratch and ask yourself and your team: if we had everything we wanted, what would it be? What needs are missing from the current tool, and what do you need to address for your reporting needs? Is the investment in building it worth it, or is it best to buy a solution?

Speak with Your Stakeholders

The process is more detailed in this book, you may find it helpful in the software evaluation process. The selection of the optimal solution for managing software licenses depends on engaging comprehensively with stakeholders across the organization.

From upper management to those hands-on with license management, product leads supporting specific customer-facing products, and discipline leads overseeing specialized tools, each provides crucial insights into the distinct requirements of their respective domains.

This holistic approach not only uncovers the varied expectations and needs but also highlights the specific metrics and functionalities crucial for different teams, such as license utilization trends and denial rates, expiration dates etc.

Incorporating feedback from all relevant parties into the selection process significantly shapes the solution’s requirements, ensuring a fit that addresses the multifaceted aspects of license management and aligns with broader organizational goals, thereby streamlining operations and enhancing overall efficiency.

What Features Do You Need?

Conversations with stakeholders reveal exactly what the must-have and good-to-have features are for the evaluation phase. Requirements vary by organization, but let’s consider a few:

  • Does it support the software the organization is using? Typically, tools built in-house do not fully support the license managers and servers vendors use to deliver the software, so ensuring the engineering license management solution you choose supports them is crucial.
  • Can you create personalized reports? The demand for highly customizable reports is high, dependent on the number of stakeholders within the organization. Different stakeholders view the data in many different ways, so it’s essential to meet all their needs.
  • Does it deliver the report to the stakeholder’s inbox? Not everyone is keen on logging into a system to run a report. Decision-makers typically want the report readily available whenever they need it, so having them scheduled and delivered to their inbox is preferable.
  • Can it connect to HR information? Many vendors provide usage data, but it’s only partially useful if not connected with real people within the organization. A cryptic username offers much less information compared to having a name and department information of the user checking out a license worth $20K. These are just the basic features needed, but completing this list with your specific requirements sets you up to move to the evaluation phase.

Setting the Stage for License Management Solution Analysis

After clearly setting the requirements, it’s time to evaluate the vendors providing engineering license metering services. Those with an in-house metering tool can evaluate vendors with their own data, as third-party license monitoring doesn’t prevent running your tool. The central focus of the entire evaluation becomes: buy versus build.

With the requirements set, assign them a weight using a one to five or one to ten scale, depending on your approach. Assigning each a weight on a scale of one to ten offers a broader range than the traditional one to five.

This method emphasizes the importance of meeting high-priority requirements, marked as eights and tens, ensuring they significantly influence the overall score. Conversely, lower-priority items, scored as twos and fours, would reduce the score if unmet.

The primary aim is to create a scoring system that not only accurately reflects the criticality of each requirement but also yields a meaningful final score to present to upper management and stakeholders.

Applying the Matrix to Get the Final Score

Now, it’s time to evaluate the features each selected vendor provides, test them, and analyze the results. Assign a score for each requirement on the scale you decide, setting the stage for the final grade each vendor will receive.

To refine vendor evaluations, multiply each requirement’s score by its corresponding weight, resulting in a final grade for each vendor based on those criteria. This calculated approach provides a detailed and fair comparison, recognizing the varied importance of each requirement.

Implementing this technique enhances the evaluation process, pinpointing vendors that most closely meet essential project requirements and simplifying the decision-making pathway.

Open iT offers a sophisticated license management solution tailored for organizations seeking to maximize their software investments. It supports a wide range of license managers and servers, to provide comprehensive metering and versatile reporting. This ensures not only optimal license utilization but also a deep insight into usage trends and efficiencies.

By choosing Open iT, organizations empower themselves with a solution that enhances decision-making, streamlines operations, and significantly reduces software costs, speeds up time consuming tasks, all while supporting the specific reporting needs of various stakeholders.

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