Application usage data is only helpful if it provides value to someone. The data has to have a context. The value and context of the data is dependent on many factors, including:
- What is the business impact of the decisions being made with (or without) the data?
- What is the cost of acquiring the data via alternative methods?
- What is the urgency of capturing and analyzing the data?
- Is the data being used one time, or is it part of on-going reporting?
- Who is the receiver of the data?
Stakeholders associated with software usage include: the application user, compliance managers, licensing/procurement managers, unit managers, and IT Asset Managers. Most of the data they need and use is static – it doesn’t change much over time. Real time usage monitoring adds a layer of context that existing licensing and entitlement management solutions can’t provide because they focus on managing static data.
Here are a few examples:
- Application users – Project-oriented personnel can associate application usage with projects for reimbursement or billing. They can use this information to help determine where they actually spend their time.
- Compliance Managers – Real time usage data shows concurrency overlap of floating licenses across license servers and time zones. Knowing when a new user suddenly appears, or which user isn’t using software, enables Compliance Managers to identify potential fraud or remove unnecessary software.
- Licensing/Procurement Managers – Understanding actual usage is critical in determining how the organization’s concurrent licensing matches to baseline and peak utilization Knowing usage by license types for application providers with multiple licensing options allows informed asset re-allocation.
- Unit Managers – These managers need to know who is using what application and for how long to identify training needs, or ensure proper assignment to projects. In addition, they can better plan for additional licenses, or identify best practices.
Real time usage data, when mapped with entitlement data, can provide organizations a much clearer picture of how effectively deployed software assets are used. In addition, usage information provides a window into how people perform their jobs for comparative purposes.
Come back next week when we will look at the implications of license key origins, and how the cloud is changing license key delivery.