Engineering Software Management: The Push for Autonomy from CIOs

Engineering software forms the backbone of many industries, including energy, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, and defense. These tools are not just essential for day-to-day operations but also represent a substantial financial commitment, often consuming a significant portion of an organization’s IT budget. However, this investment leads to an ongoing debate within organizations: Who should have oversight and control over these software licenses – the IT leadership or the engineering department?

Engineering Software License: Spend on the Rise

According to Gartner, global IT spending is projected to surpass $5 trillion in 2024, with over $1 trillion dedicated to software alone. Delving deeper, Deloitte’s latest report indicates that a significant 24% of the total IT budget will be allotted for software licenses.

In industries extensively reliant on licensed engineering software, the financial commitment to these applications significantly exceeds the norm, accounting for a considerable part of the overall IT budget. This elevated financial stake intensifies the internal dynamics, leading to a pronounced power struggle between IT and engineering departments over the ownership, control, and management of these critical software assets.

CIOs: Control Translates to Better Strategic Alignment and ROI

Most organizations traditionally assign the responsibility of managing IT spending and securing returns on IT investments to their Chief Information Officers (CIOs). With a significant rise in tech spending anticipated in the coming year, CIOs are increasingly striving to assert their authority over the entire IT landscape.

Recent survey reveals that CIOs are advocating for complete control over IT assets, including software licenses. They argue that this centralization grants them the ‘agility’ and ‘control’ necessary to drive innovation and optimize investments. Specifically, CIOs believe that a unified oversight enables them to more effectively tackle software licensing issues, aligning these technological resources closely with the company’s overarching business strategy.

Engineers: Specialized Applications Require Expert Management

In contrast, engineering departments are increasingly seeking control over their software licenses, arguing that the specialized nature of engineering applications demands a nuanced approach. These department leaders advocate for direct management of these licenses, covering acquisition, administration, utilization, and renewal, by the engineers who use them daily. They believe this approach will enhance user experience and engagement.

Engineering heads maintain that autonomy in license management would lead to more agile and effective decision-making, closely aligned with the unique demands of current projects and specific engineering challenges. They argue that direct control over these tools would boost performance, spur innovation, and ultimately yield a greater return on investment in these technologies.

Collaborative Engineering Software License Management: A Step Forward

Both IT and engineering departments have strong reasons for wanting control over engineering software licenses. To excel in a fast-changing tech environment, they need to adopt a collaborative approach, breaking down silos for better communication and cooperation. A robust software license management system is key to this, ensuring efficient use and optimization of these licenses.

While engineers are experts in their domains, they remain limited without a comprehensive license management solution, affecting their ability to maximize software efficiency. IT managers, on the other hand, need access to reliable data from engineering to make strategic decisions.

Without a unified software license management system, gathering and analyzing this data becomes inefficient and error prone. The solution enables IT and engineering leaders to make data-informed decisions together, making choosing the right software licenses and models for their needs possible. This not only streamlines decision-making but also aligns departmental goals with the organization’s broader strategy, enhancing overall efficiency and success.

Open iT: Enabling Collaboration between IT and Engineering

Open iT, a premier provider of software license management solutions and services, can help dismantle silos that obstruct effective collaboration and communication and unify IT and engineering departments. Open iT not only offers tools but also acts as a catalyst for nurturing a cohesive and productive relationship between these organizational divisions.

Total Visibility for Enhanced Communication

The key to effective management in any organization is visibility, and this is particularly true for managing engineering software licenses. Open iT provides a panoramic view of extensive license portfolios, enabling both IT and engineering departments to gain a comprehensive understanding of their license utilization. This transparency facilitates data-driven discussions about software requirements and budgeting. By establishing a common understanding, Open iT helps both departments develop strategies that are not only beneficial on an individual level but also in sync with the wider organizational objectives.

Customizable Reporting Tailored to Departmental Needs

Open iT’s customizable reporting tool is a standout feature, offering adaptability to meet the diverse requirements of different departments. IT departments can harness these reports to concentrate on overarching concerns like cost management and regulatory compliance. In contrast, engineering departments can utilize the same tool to gain deeper insights into usage trends and the performance of specific applications. This flexibility ensures that both departments access information that is most relevant and actionable for them.

Enhancing License Compliance and Preparing for Audits

One of the most significant advantages of Open iT is its ability to improve adherence to software licensing agreements. This compliance is necessary to avoid financial penalties and reputational harm. Open iT aids in this by keeping precise records of software usage, aligning with licensing terms and, thereby, ensuring the organization is always audit-ready.

Empowering Strategic Decision-Making

At a strategic level, Open iT provides CIOs and engineering leaders with a holistic view of the software environment. This comprehensive perspective is invaluable in guiding decisions regarding new investments, renewing licenses, or reallocating resources. With Open iT’s analytics and reporting capabilities, these decisions are informed by reliable data, ensuring that they support both immediate needs and long-term strategic objectives.

Eliminate Battle for Engineering License Control

This tug-of-war between CIOs and engineering departments highlights a growing challenge within organizations: how to balance the need for centralized IT governance with the specialized requirements of different departments.

As technology continues to evolve and becomes more integral to all aspects of business operations, finding a collaborative and effective approach to managing these essential software assets becomes increasingly crucial.

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