Software License Management

Software license management plays a pivotal role in almost all organizations . Automation or aviation, construction or fintech, retail, electric vehicle, or any other industry , software licensing management is equally inevitable for all. Technology is evolving at a lightning-fast speed . Purchasing individual licenses in today’s time can become obsolete the next day. 

Similar is the scenario with entitling dongles to each user within the organization. Today’s license can become null and void the next day. Hence, it could become an impossible task to keep up with managing software licenses.

With OpenLM’s software licensing management tool, organizations can easily streamline their engineering and scientific software licenses. OpenLM enables organizations to stretch their software licenses’ limits and utilize them as much as possible. This way, organizations can skip the stress of managing multiple licenses for individual users. This would also help them in saving at least 15% of their total IT budget.

Table of Contents

All About Software Licensing Management

Software license management is currently among the most sought-after  markets across the globe. Compared to a decade back, this industry has grown remarkably  and is still on the rise. If you have to check the global data, this market recorded a valuation of around $997 million in the year 2021. This estimated number is even expected to touch $1,723 million by the end of 2022. Furthermore, the forecasted Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) could be 10.07% between 2022-2027. Add to this, the growing IT infrastructure is yet another reason the software license management market is gaining so much potential. Also, license  management software is needed whenever an organization purchases new software or to upgrade its existing ones.

What is Software Licensing Management?

Every organization requires a specific set of software. While some of these software comes as an individual, others come in bundles. Also, there is free as well as paid software available. The paid software always requires software license managers to use and operate. The process of managing all these permissions and restrictions from a single console is termed as ‘Software License Management (SLM)’. In technical terms, software license management can be defined as the legal process that controls or regulates:
  • How to use the software?
  • Who can use the software?
  • When to use the software?
  • Where to use the software?
>

The Roles of Software License Management

Back in the 1980s, software providers started offering ‘floating licenses’ that offered a limited number of licenses among the users. The software license managers had a central license server that allowed licenses to one user at a time upon requests. Meaning, the second user gets it only after the first user is done using the license. The concept of floating licenses started becoming inefficient with the development in IT infrastructure since time and resource consumption was more. Organizations now required tools that would allow multiple users to use software licenses simultaneously. This is where and how the need for a centralized licensing management software started growing. In addition to the organizations, software vendors also felt this necessity. However, they largely required a central system to monitor and track the usage  of their software license managers.

Benefits or Features of Software License Management

Software publisher releases a pre-defined document during the release of their  software. This document contains all the legal procedures to use the software. This document largely explains the terms and conditions, limitations (if any), types of usage, and how to distribute the software. This document is known as ‘software license’. Having a software license management tool enables an organization to understand the ins and outs of a software license. A license management software can be an enabler for any organization. It can direct an organization about how to utilize the maximum out of all their software licenses it has purchased. The software manager also suggests which license to purchase, when to purchase, and how many numbers to purchase. The software  licensing management tool also suggests ways to stretch software licenses so that the organization can use the purchased licenses aptly. In OpenLM, we help our clients with deep software license management insights. We enable them to stretch their licenses and utilize the maximum out of them. Besides this, there are several other reasons for an organization to opt for OpenLM’s professional license management software. Listed below are some of these reasons:

Reduce costs, Increase Profits

Buying unnecessary licenses always results in unwanted and excessive expenses for any organization. These unwanted expenses usually affect the annual ROI of the organization. On the other hand, having license management software ensures an extremely cost-efficient process for the organization. The license manager software can easily analyze the overall license consumption and figure out if any additional licenses are required. A software license management tool can also track unused licenses and cut down the cost further. At OpenLM, our software licensing management tool promises at least 15% cost reduction from the annual IT budget .

Credible Compliance and Audit Protection

Using any unauthorized licenses within an organization is a critical issue. Based on the weightage of the software, this unauthorized usage can lead to momentous results. Organizations must always use software they have purchased. To be compliant with this, organizations must track the number of installations and distributions of software licenses among the users. However, when it comes to maximizing software license compliance, organizations might not be able to keep a track on their clients. This would eventually breach all the compliant guidelines. A software licensing management tool can help organizations gain a credible compliance score and audit protection.

Software License Compliance Reports

Software licenses imply  a number of laws, guidelines, and regulations on the overall usage of the software. Any instances wherein the organization fails to abide by these guidelines  would result in compliance violations. As a result, the organization may have to face serious compliance issues in the future. Having a professional license management software like the one by OpenLM, makes an organization compliant towards all these rules and guidelines. This would help the organization to be compliant with all the clauses mentioned in the software license. Thus, the organization would gain a great software license compliance report in the future.

Enhanced Productivity

As mentioned in the ‘floating license’ concept, waiting for licenses is a time-consuming  process. Organizations can get rid of this waiting time by automating the process. To automate this process, organizations need a professional license management software. This will surely contribute towards enhanced productivity for the organization.

Better Cyber Security

Cybercrime is currently one of the hottest threats in the IT world. Using any unauthorized software always makes an organization prone to such threats. Also, since the advent of Covid-19 situation, this threat has risen tremendously. Since people now are preferring remote work culture, phishing out critical information from systems has become common globally. Almost all the software licenses come with strict data security measures and firewalls. Having them rightly installed in the systems offer better and tightened security measures. Whether people prefer working from the office or remotely, cyber security remains intact with effective software license management tools.

More Business Agility

Organizations deploying legacy software often face issues with upgrading, replacing, or managing their existing software. This is also applicable for organizations using multiple software for each of their users or machines. This happens due to the complexities involved in replacing legacy software or organizations losing a track of the non-feasible  software. With a software licensing management tool in place, organizations can easily track their older software. Software license management tools enable organizations to decide which software to retain or which one to let go of . Thus, with a software license management tool, organizations can gain more agility when it comes to making decisions.

Best Practices for Better Software License Management

Purchase Only What You Need

Most of the time, organizations purchase licenses that they hardly put to use. This is a total waste of money and resources. Before purchasing any licenses, organizations must check or consult with a software license manager. This will save a lot of money from the annual IT budget.

Purchase Only When You Need

Purchasing the right thing at the right time gets counted. Purchasing software or obtaining their licenses thinking about the future could cost you a fortune. Technology is evolving extremely fast; today’s software could become obsolete tomorrow.

Use What You Have Paid For

Being compliant with a license’s terms and conditions is a must practice. If you or your organization crosses the thin line of compliance, your organization may have to face unwanted consequences. In extreme consequences, the organization may end up paying millions as a penalty .

Hire OpenLM Services

OpenLM is one of the leading vendors in software licensing management solutions for engineering and specialty licenses. With 15+ years of market experience, OpenLM has 1000+ global customers. Among this, 400 customers are from the USA, and 10% of them  belong to the ‘Fortune 1000’ club. OpenLM ensures better performance and productivity. It makes you scalable while helping your organization to reduce your annual IT spending by at least 15%.

Software License Management Solutions

OpenLM provides all the essential engineering software licensing management, license tracking capabilities and reports. Optimizing your software inventory helps you to stretch your expensive software licenses to their limit. OpenLM handles all license models including network (floating), node-locked and GPU (Nvidia). Cloud and token (including Autodesk token-flex), and hybrid variations are also included. You will be able to monitor and generate reports of all the major hardware and software licenses. This includes: Sentinel, Flexera , Wibu DSLS, Reprise and more.
  • Know What You Have
Our software licensing management tool reports on actual usage and helps you identify unused or rarely used software. Our new customers find lots of savings right away, at least 15%.
  • Know What’s Happening Right Now
We have made it a mission to report as timeously as possible. Depending on the software license manager being monitored, feedback is either on a per-second or per-minute basis.
  • Do the Best for Your Users
Harvest idle licenses automatically in alignment with your internal software policy.
  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
We produce reports in different formats depending on the content. We offer alternatives to traditional list reports. This includes heat maps and pie charts, which provide a more concise overview for management.
  • Take the Heat Off
OpenLM gives you the data necessary to produce internal billing for end users.
  • License Management for the Cloud
Costs for cloud software are much higher than expected and seem difficult to control. Our licensing software manager can help you monitor Adobe, Autodesk, ESRI, and Office 365 cloud products.

Explore OpenLM’s licensing model and delivery structure to know how to protect your software

An inside view of software licensing management tool with OpenLM

Organizations often make mistakes while procuring or purchasing new licenses. If your organization is missing out on software license management, it can also commit the same mistakes. One simple wrong call to action  and your organization could end up committing serious mistakes in software licensing management. OpenLM is here to help and guide you through the entire process of how to manage software and engineering licenses. Insights from OpenLM could help you take the right call at the right time. Download software license management resources  from OpenLM to delve deep into the world of licensing and management. This resource would help you to:
  • Get the right licenses at the right time.
  • Follow the best practices to utilize the maximum out of your existing licenses.
  • Avoid the most common mistakes every other organization makes while getting software and engineering licenses.
  • Decipher the pre-existing myths about buying new software licenses and achieve more business agility.
  • How to protect your software by using the right software license management tool.
  • Things you or your organization should do or should not do after getting new software licenses.
  • How to stay compliant with all the new software licenses to safeguard your organization from infringing any licensing agreements.
  • Why must you optimize your software licenses?

What Are the Consequences of Bad License Management?

Bad software license management can lead to numerous consequences. Any organization may have to face similar situations if they don’t have licensing management software. Your organization could be the next if you too are missing this. However, here are two of the most crucial consequences due to bad license management: Organizations usually lose hefty amounts annually due to surplus software licenses. They are either unaware of these purchases or they simply fail to manage their licenses. This can slow down or cease their ROI and incur huge losses; maybe in millions, every year.
  • Non-compliant Issues
As mentioned above, every license comes with some legal terms, conditions, and guidelines. Purchasing a license does not really give permission to do whatever the buyer wants to do with them . At times, organizations fail to comply with these terms and conditions, and tend to overpass them. This can create non-compliant issues that could also result in huge monetary obligations.

Types of Software Licenses

Software licenses are primarily of two types: Commercial and Open-Source. The commercial licenses are the ones that require a valid license to use. Open-Source licenses are those that are mostly free to use but  cannot be used against the standard terms and conditions. Commercial and Open-Source licenses combined, there are a total of five different types of licenses:
  • Public Domain License
These are the software that does not require any permission to use. Users can simply use the codes as they are. Users can also modify codes the way they want without giving any credits to the owner.
  • LGPL
The GNU Lesser General Public License or LGPL is almost similar to the public domain license. However, in this category, users must follow all the terms and conditions in case they want to modify the original codes.
  • Permissive License
This is the license that has to be credited in case of any changes. Users can reuse or modify the codes the way they till they acknowledge the legal terms and conditions.
  • Copyleft License
In order to use or modify these licenses, users must release their version under the original software license. This means, users can distribute copyleft software only as a derivative, and the cycle should go on.
  • Proprietary License
This is a commercial license in the true sense. It is always a paid one and doesn’t allow any copying, or redistribution  of the original codes.

Service Level Management: Challenges and Enablers

Service Level Management (SLM) is one of the most crucial and deciding factors in IT asset management. In fact, SLM could also be a deciding factor for any field related to IT asset management. However, organizations often face arrays of challenges in SLM. Some of the most commonly faced challenges are:
  • IT asset distribution
  • Inconsistent ITAM
  • Misplaced asset policies
  • IT knowledge and awareness
  • Purchasing wrong licenses
Proper IT asset management is the solution to all the above challenges. Having an appropriate software license manager or software licensing management tool is the solution to all these challenges. These challenges can be further classified as explained below.

Organizational Challenges in Software License Management

  • Not having the right set of resources
An organization might have all the processes streamlined for a hassle-free operation cycle. However, not having the right kind of resources would surely cease all the operations.
  • Mismatched roles among resources
The organization could have an adequate amount of resources. However, if their roles  are not in sync with their expertise, it could result in another organizational challenge.
  • Abundance of bottlenecks
This is one challenge that could result every time one resource is interdependent on another resource.

Technological Challenges in Software License Management

  • Wrong solutions at
As already discussed above, having the right solutions at the right place gets counted in software license management. Having an abundance of licenses cannot always make an ITAM service efficient, but having the right ones can.
  • Lack of skill sets or expertise
An organization can have all the licenses required. However, if the organization lacks skilled resources to utilize these licenses, it could result in disastrous Software licensing management.
  • Extended
In case there is a dearth of software licenses, organizations should be capable enough to procure them as quickly as possible.

Cultural Challenges in Software License Management

  • Lack of sync in leadership team
Most often, the leadership team has to undergo turbulence as almost everyone has their respective vision on SLM. This could create discrepancies at  the top level of an organization.
  • Lack of sync among legal advisors
At times, even the legal team fails to comply with some of the terms and conditions; e.g. – distribution of licenses.
  • Inability to merge all cultural values
Every level in the organization hierarchy could be susceptible to cultural challenges. Inability to resolve these issues could be another challenge in software license management for the organization.

Organizational Enablers in Software License Management

  • Voluntary collaboration in the organization
As the organization decides to restructure the working hierarchy, all the employees (in all levels) must operate hand-in-hand. This way, everyone can support one idea at a time as laid by the organization.
  • Assigning budget for all operations
Budget could be one of the foremost obstacles. Organizations should always assign the requisite budget for all operations for a smooth operation cycle.
  • Short and long-term goals
An organization needs both short and long-term goals to stay afloat and ahead of their competitors. Organizations should be cognizant of these goals and define them clearly at every level.

Technological Enablers in Software License Management

  • Asset monitoring
Asset monitoring can be defined as an efficient process of mapping assets and connecting the dots between them. This way, organizations can easily find the right amount of assets required.
  • Service monitoring
Services also need to be monitored or checked at regular intervals. Organizations should adopt an efficient ITSM to align all their services with their business. An apt software license management system would be of great assistance here.
  • Configuration management database (CMDB)
Data and information are the two greatest assets for any organization. Every organization needs a flexible and scalable CMDB. This is needed to store data and information so that they can be managed from a single touch point.

Cultural Enablers in Software License Management

  • Bridge between IT and legal team
Both the IT and legal team must always walk in the same shoes. The IT team and legal team should always consult with each other whenever there is an upgrade in software. They should also consult during the purchase  of a new software.
  • Open team discussions
Organizations should encourage their employees to come forward and put their ideas on the table. This would enable employees to know each others’ ideas and concerns. This would eventually help the organization to build futuristic growth strategies.
  • Employee-friendly environment
Employees don’t simply leave any organization, but they leave a toxic environment. Creating a motivating, encouraging, and rewarding work culture would help inspire employees to take action  independently and predominantly.