When employees leave software applications open on their desktop for long periods of time, without using them, we call it “hogging a lane.” Why? It blocks the flow of traffic, creates frustration, and ultimately results in over-licensing.
Here, the flow of traffic refers to the efficiency of software use, and licenses are like individual lanes on a freeway stretching from the beginning to the end of a workday. See the graphic to the right (or above if you're on a phone). The pig and red bar in the left lane represent a user keeping an application open on a desktop for the entire day, without using it. The cars and green bars are users actively using an application, then releasing when finished. By checking out a license all day, others are blocked from using the lane, forcing traffic to overflow in the other three lanes.
From a user’s perspective, one would like to access a license at any time, without ever waiting for it. We get that. It’s frustrating to be under pressure to complete a project and have to deal with getting a license (AKA driving through “rush hour traffic”). However, if this NEVER occurs, it’s a sign of over-licensing and over-paying for software, compromising the company’s resource efficiency.
The most resource-efficient licensing strategies involve occasionally maxing out a company’s peak number of licenses, but not so often that an overflow of requests slows project progress. With subscription licensing methods and accurate use data, companies can prepare for peak seasons by purchasing short-term additional licenses during periods of high use.
Here’s the REAL problem. If users frequently hog lanes, companies will never know the number of licenses they need for true optimization. As you can see in our graphic above, an entire lane is closed to other drivers, causing congestion in other lanes. This in turn causes user frustration, which leads to complaints sent to IT, resulting in the purchase of unnecessary licenses. It’s a snowball effect and at its core is management’s inability to see HOW applications are used.
Here’s the solution. ITAM tools, like Cetrus Process Meter (CPM), provide both application and licensing use data down to the second. The CPM Plug-in Activity Monitor captures “Activity States” that allow administrators to identify time spent with the application open on their desktop, but unused. In other words, this data allows one to see which users are parking licenses, how frequently, and for how long!
Hogging licenses creates frustration, higher costs, and resource inefficiency. With the right data points, these behaviors can be identified and addressed.
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