Services company, Amey, has cut its software licensing and hardware bill by £150,000 a year by investing in technology to audit and monitor its IT estate.
Amey, which provides design, management, and maintenance services to the public sector, is using the system to identify and recycle unused hardware and software across its estate.
"If you have a better handle on what licenses you have you can utilise them better. We have have been able to save tens of thousands of pounds. As a business we pass the benefits on to our customers with better pricing," said Sue Madden, senior IT network compliance analyst.
The company has invested in a discovery tool supplied by FrontRange Solutions, using it to audit a network of 6,000 computer systems. They run a complex range of software, from Microsoft Office to specialist engineering and public sector software.
Amey has supplemented the work with manual audits to identify devices which are not attached to the network. In some cases this meant people looking in cupboards for equipment, said Madden.
The IT team is using a SQL-based software licensing database, Software Organiser, supplied by Right2Use, to manage licences and to ensure they match the software it has.
The team looked for boxed copies of software and spoke to suppliers as part of its programme to identify what licenses the company held.
Amey has been able to use the information gathered to negotiate more favourable licensing agreements with suppliers by negotiating licenses in bulk with its parent company Ferrovial,
"When you understand what you have got you can talk to suppliers and get better rates. We have made large investments in products like Autocad, and we're getting better deals."
The company has made further savings by using the database to rationalise its maintenance agreements with suppliers.
"In some cases we have bought software for a contract that is coming to an end. We do not want to invest in something we are not gong to be using in a months time," said Madden.
Amey has won Fast Ltd platinum accreditation.
The company carries out its own software audits internally, to help it keep track of a constantly changing portfolio of software, and commissions a formal Fast Ltd audit once a year.
"We definitely feel we need to keep our Fast accreditation, because that's important to us," said Madden.
The company is also interested in taking up a new Fast Ltd accreditation, available next year, that will audit the way companies manage software over its lifecycle.
"We want to look more at how we use software to make sure we are actually utilising it. There are decisions to be made. Do we actually need all our software licenses ?"