What is intelligent usage metering and why do you need it

October 18, 2022

Pam Risch

What is intelligent usage metering and why do you need it image

In this series of five blogs, we’re going to unpack the significant contribution that intelligent usage metering brings to teams seeking to optimize high-value engineering application license costs. We’ll also look at the challenges companies face when it comes to usage metering, how to overcome them, and how Scalable’s Asset Vision platform can help.

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 engineering applications.

For teams dealing with expensive technical software, costs can spiral quickly. Applications like AutoCAD, MicroStation and Fusion360 are used widely in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, automotive, engineering, and aerospace, to name a few. Often these applications have complex licensing agreements and models – including concurrent, term subscriptions, and token licensing. Understanding how to optimize these costs is a challenge for portfolio managers, especially if they have an incomplete picture of usage requirements.

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 offer 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, it is far too basic.

Inaccurate or partial perspectives on usage mislead application portfolio managers to commit to contracts that are more expensive than what the organization truly needs. Usage requirements from the past do not accurately convey the needs of present employees. In large organizations, the number of employees fluctuates, and staff often move departments or levels, so requirements change over time. Moreover, today’s limited tools do not tell portfolio managers enough about how applications are used. For example, is an application actually used once its opened? Is an employee using the application in a “read only” way despite having a full license? Is the application closed down each day or left open overnight, possibly incurring unnecessary costs?

Without such insights, it’s almost certain that you’ll be identifying license requirements that simply do not exist. Which is where intelligent usage metering comes in.

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 all engineering 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.

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 rightsizing of licensing commitments, including subscription and usage-based licensing models. This data can be used as a single point of truth of 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.

In our next blog…

Watch this space for our next blog, in which we will cover in greater depth what exactly is wrong with current metering tools, including how they are “gamed” by bad practices. We will also explain why more detail is needed to truly optimize different and complex licensing models, such as token-based and concurrent licenses.

For more information on Asset Vision, visit our solution page.