Effective Management of WFH License Usage

As the world continues to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic months after local lockdowns started, many companies that have initially adopted temporary work-from-home (WFH) protocols for their employees are now faced with making more permanent policies to continue their business as usual. Along with this “new normal” comes challenges that many companies have found to be hindering productivity or driving up costs.

Persistent Distractions

According to a study on working from home, 54% of employees have found more distractions at home than in the office. This, however, is not necessarily a sign of less productivity as the same study suggests that more employees (41%) claim that they are more productive working from home, as oppose to those who claim that they have been less productive (33%). What it could mean, though, is that many employees are stretching out their working hours through the night and/or the weekends, as indicated by the 66% who claim they were likely to work nights and/or weekends.

It may not mean much on a short-term basis, but a lack of routine and work-life balance could eventually take a toll on the employees’ mental health in the long run. Aside from possible mental health issues, stretching out working hours through the night and/or the weekends could mean many inactively parked licenses during supposedly productive work hours, and many licenses staying checked out during hours that other users could have been using them.

To effectively control this possible spike in inactive license usage, the company would need to deploy an efficient license usage metering and optimization solution that would keep track of the application’s true active usage and automatically harvest idle licenses.

Unstable Connections

A productive WFH environment is highly dependent on a stable home internet connection. Unfortunately, residential internet subscriptions are not given nearly as much priority in terms of stability by internet service providers as compared to business subscriptions.

Since users will try to make sure that they constantly have access to the licenses they need, an unstable internet connection could lead them to borrow licenses instead of simply checking them out. Without proper management, license borrowing could result to scarcity in license availability, thus increasing the likelihood of denials. If the license agreement is pay-per-use or allows overdrafts, then this could mean a sudden increase in pay-per-use or overdraft charges, which would drive up unnecessary costs for the company.

Therefore, a close monitoring of software usage trends and a proper implementation of license borrowing can make or break a productive and cost-effective WFH policy.

Staying Compliant

Compliance issues are easily manageable when all users are working on specifically designated machines at specific geographic locations. Working remotely can complicate this since it allows the user to work virtually anywhere in the world.

If the vendor license agreement specifies geo-limitations, then users working remotely may come up as a compliance issue. Some users may also feel the need to use their personal machines at home, aside from those that were provided for them by the company. And thus, if there are limitations on the number of machines allowed to be installed, this may also come up as a compliance issue. In addition, if users are using more than one machine at home, it could also mean that they are checking out multiple licenses for multiple computers at the same time, which could severely limit license availability and cause denials.

As many companies experience a downturn due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, improving productivity while optimizing costs is now even more critical for business growth. Since many employees are working remotely, effectively keeping track of software usage is important now more than ever.

Open iT offers advanced software usage metering and optimization solutions that could help you monitor the true active usage of expensive engineering software licenses anytime, anywhere. Learn more about Open iT solutions. Let us guide you through your software license management and optimization journey.

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