Improve Productivity by Tracking Software Usage

How to Improve Productivity by Effectively Tracking Software Usage

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Improving productivity is one of the most significant ways to succeed in business, especially in this challenging economic environment where layoffs are becoming increasingly common. Achieving greater productivity is not an easy task. Therefore, executives often look for new methods and diagnostic tools to help employees work faster, smarter and more competitively.

Companies often underutilize information about application usage patterns of employees. What some companies may not be aware of is that the benefits of tracking software usage are not limited to better license usage efficiency; it can also be used to improve employee behavior and productivity.

So how can this be done? Software usage can be tracked with the assistance of accurate software monitoring tools. You will need a powerful and easy-to-use tool that provides accurate metering of software usage.

Approaches and Benefits

Here are some of the ways that tracking software usage can benefit your company:

1. Track the number of software licenses that each employee is using.

Discover “license hogs” and “license campers” in the environment. A license hog is someone who unnecessarily checks out or uses multiple licenses simultaneously. In some industries, there are valid reasons to use more than one license at a time. However, if this type of user behavior is against your company policy, then you may want to correct it. There are also users who often checks out a software license in the morning for no other reason than to ensure that a license is available later in the day when they may actually need it. This type of user is tagged as a license camper. Another common scenario that can inhibit maximum utilization of software is when you have users who neglect to close an application after finishing a task, and then they open another instance of the same application to do another task.

License hogs and campers in the environment can lead to denials and user complaints. Without accurate usage reports, IT managers may incorrectly assume that there is a need to purchase additional licenses. By effectively tracking software usage, however, license hogs and campers can be easily detected. Furthermore, accurate usage information is effective in educating employees about the benefits of efficient use of applications.

Although historical software usage can be very helpful in identifying undesirable user behavior, a monitoring tool that shows software licenses usage information in real-time can even be more helpful in hindering the behavior as it happens. A tool like this allows administrators to see how many licenses are currently in use for a feature, the time the licenses were checked out, and who are the users of the licenses.

2. Track whether employees are using the software or not.

A powerful and flexible metering and reporting tool that allows administrators to create reports with different metrics for complete data analysis can help in identifying whether employees are actually using the software or not. These reports would have elapsed time metric to allow administrators to see how long users are using a certain application.

In the report above, there are several users who not only have very little elapsed time, but they also have not accessed the software in over three weeks. This is valuable information when optimizing license usage. Also, it is possible that some of the users do not actually need to be named users, and their licenses may be freed up for better utilization.

3. Track user adoption of new applications.

A tool that compares usage of different versions of the same applications can be very useful in determining the user’s adoption of the newer applications.

The chart above is an example of a report showing the comparison of usage over time for two versions of an application. From this report, you can discover needs for support and training and find ways to improve user adoption and productivity.

To get the full benefits of software usage monitoring, choose tools that collect accurate and complete software usage information that lets you understand your organization’s true software usage to maximize your software and maintenance investments and improve workforce productivity.

Read more about increasing productivity through effective software usage metering and analysis.

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