Revealing Hidden Costs: How Intelligent Usage Metering Optimizes High-Value Application License Costs

July 17, 2023

Sarah Morrison

Revealing Hidden Costs: How Intelligent Usage Metering Optimizes High-Value Application License Costs image

Sometimes software products come with in-built metering, but these in-built offerings typically only provide an indication of how many times an application has been opened over a certain period, or the last time it was launched. This data is too basic to optimize the licensing review and purchasing process. High-value technical applications, like computer-aided design and manufacturing applications, often have complex licensing models, such as token-based and concurrent licensing. Poorly managed, such licensing models can be unnecessarily expensive. For example, overestimating token requirements runs the risk of unused tokens expiring; annual tokens expire after 365 days and contract-based tokens expire at the end of the term. Eliminating the wasted expense of expired tokens, underutilized concurrent users, or simply unused applications, can only be achieved with detailed usage data – summaries just aren’t enough.


Unveiling the Challenges: Incomplete Perspectives on Usage and Licensing

Measuring Usage for Cost Optimization

Measuring how users interact with applications is important for IT leaders and application portfolio managers to be able to optimize license costs. Usage metering gives them an insight into which applications are used, by whom, and for how long, to help them make decisions around rationalizing applications and optimizing their software portfolio. This is particularly important when it comes to high-value applications such as CAD/CAM.

Not all usage data is helpful

Many IT and application portfolio managers may already have some access to metering technology or features inside an existing software product that offers some level of measurement. However, the reality is that these tools lack important application ‘active usage’ metering capabilities, so the information they provide is of limited use. Many only report if an application has been opened or the last time it was launched. But when portfolio managers use this historical data as the basis on which to make decisions on license purchases, there is simply not enough information.

Gaming the System: The Trouble with Bad Practices

The majority of usage metering tools are insufficient when employees game the system to retain access to the application. For example, with concurrent licensing, a pool of licenses is shared across an organization and the maximum number of licenses cannot be exceeded. However, it’s possible for employees to ‘license camp,’ whereby they keep an application open to ensure it’s availability for when they need it, preventing another user from accessing it. A simplistic licensing tool will simply read this as the application being open for an extended period of time, despite it not being in use. This paints an inaccurate picture of usage requirements. IT leaders need to be able to identify practices such as license camping, so they can get a true understanding of license needs.

Only viewing in black and white: What’s actually happening with tool use?

Inaccurate or partial perspectives on usage mislead application portfolio managers to commit to contracts that are more expensive than what the organization truly needs. Limited usage insights do not tell portfolio managers enough about how applications are used. For example, is an application actually used once it’s opened? Is an employee using the application in a “read only” way despite having a full license? Is the application closed each day or left open overnight, possibly incurring unnecessary costs?


The Power of Intelligent Usage Metering: A New Approach

Why You Need an Intelligent Approach

Unlike traditional metering tools, intelligent usage metering provides minute-by-minute analysis of all software across the IT estate. This offers real-time insights that help optimize software license costs of applications, including high-value engineering CAD/CAM applications, regardless of licensing type or model. The granular detail provided by intelligent usage metering is essential for portfolio managers, IT vendor managers, and IT purchasing teams to optimize high-value application costs in a “smart” way, based on true requirements.


Leveraging Scalable’s Asset Vision Platform

Scalable’s Asset Vision platform delivers intelligent usage data that enables users to fully understand the extent to which every high-value application is used and pinpoints unused and underutilized applications, enabling the right-sizing of licensing commitments. This usage data can be used as a single point of truth for your organization’s entire IT environment – from cloud to on-premises, and hybrid – to enable actionable outcomes that quickly deliver significant cost savings, often into millions of dollars.

By adopting an intelligent usage metering approach, organizations can gain accurate insights into application usage, avoid over-purchasing licenses, and optimize costs across the board. Embracing Scalable’s Asset Vision platform empowers IT leaders and portfolio managers to make data-driven decisions that lead to substantial savings while ensuring they have the right licensing agreements to meet their business needs. It’s time to expose the hidden costs and maximize the value of high-value engineering applications.