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4 Ways ITSM Principles Ease Software Licensing Challenges

07/02/2014 by: The SunView Team

The days of traditional software licensing may be slipping away as cloud computing and other technologies emerge. However, diversified subscription and licensing models are only making things more complicated for IT leaders, and you need to ensure you comply with any contracts as you distribute solutions within your organization. Having complete control over the configuration and visibility into user activities is key in this area. IT service management strategies go a long way in helping technology leaders build a successful framework for managing software and application licenses is rapidly-changing IT environments.

Mobile devices take these challenges and escalate them to a significant degree. The end result is an environment in which IT leaders need specialized service management tools to help them effectively manage licenses.

50 Questions for Building ITSM Requirements

Four ways that ITSM solutions help you manage licenses associated with apps and services that interact with mobile devices include:

1. Access management
Getting control of the configuration is essential if you want to act as a gatekeeper and ensure users only access the solutions they are authorized to use. This is particularly important when trying to manage licenses because users gaining free access to applications can lead to the breach of licensing agreements. Access management solutions help IT teams avoid this issue by helping them carefully control who can access different applications and services. This is especially valuable as it ensures that low-level IT workers do not provide access to solutions when they do not fully understand the implications of such decisions.

2. Device procurement policies
Letting users add their personal devices to the configuration without direct oversight or IT approvals can also lead to licensing challenges as individuals with personal authorization to download application or software instances do so on a second device, using up a license that IT may not be ready to relinquish or may need to give to a different user. Service management solutions that put controls in place to authorize end-user devices on the configuration can add a layer of control over device procurement and authorizations within the configuration, ensuring that unexpected licenses are not taken up by users running multiple devices.

3. Establish approval processes
Effective mobile device support depends on giving users freedom to access applications and services as needed without sacrificing necessary IT control. Simple approval processes within the service desk can help technology leaders create a self-service portal that lets users get authorization for new application licenses and notify IT leaders when the number of licenses distributed within an organization becomes problematic. The end result is a balance of freedom and control that is ideal when trying to support contemporary mobile device use in enterprise settings.

4. Device tracking
Basic device tracking, such as using a CMDB to identify which smartphones and tablets are functioning within the corporate configuration, can play an integral role in helping IT leaders understand how many devices could possibly be eligible to get licenses of software or an application. The CMDB can set the foundation for more advanced device tracking functions that identify which devices are running different applications. This functionality can be important. For example, having users register their devices as configuration items and letting IT track what applications are being used can help IT teams identify when a user changes devices or moves applications to an unauthorized system.

IT cannot control everything as consumerization is taking hold in response to widespread mobile device use. However, technology leaders are increasingly asked to work as gatekeepers who provide governance and security within a business' technology setup. Managing licenses on mobile devices is an incredibly important part of this process, and advanced service management solutions are key in this area.