SLO is dead – Long live ITAO

SLO is dead – Long live ITAO: In last week’s article we examined the question of the difference between Software Asset Management and SLO; a quick re-cap:

Software Asset Management is typically embodied by the generation of an Effective License Position (ELP) which is a report that could (to the software vendor’s advantage) count “one install needs one license”.

SLO (Software Licence Optimisation) requires the application of product use rights (to use the Microsoft terminology) to leverage advantages around rights of second use, rights of multiple installs, upgrades, downgrades etc.  So that an ELP becomes an OLP (Optimised License Position).

Traditional Software Asset Management works to the generation of such a report (be it ELP or OLP) and in 95% of cases I have seen companies stare at the report like the discovery of the Holy Grail or a work of art.  It is a thing of beauty to be admired or even worshipped.

But tread lightly folks…  that report is radioactive – i.e. it has a half-life – in a weeks’ time it won’t be quite as informative, in two weeks’ time it will be glanced at; and in four weeks’ time it will be in-tray fodder.  The flux/change experienced in IT infrastructure means that it will fail to accurately reflect installs to licenses (regardless of contract/license benefits that might have been applied).

Aren’t we missing a trick here?

If we are looking to maximise those benefits that licenses and contracts can offer, shouldn’t we be applying them to software that is being used?

Shouldn’t we be metering the software we have installed prior to incorporating it into a report that states would how much money a company owes in licence fees?

Shouldn’t we then remove software that is not being used after a set period of time PRIOR to generating an ELP/OLP?

Finally, shouldn’t we then align hardware to software, so that software titles are appropriately resourced according to business need and licence terms and conditions?

This is IT Asset Optimisation (ITAO): Used software being paid for, and no more – SLO is like a farmer who spends more time tending to the fence than to the field – the fence has a role to play, but the farmer makes his money from the field.

This may take a culture shift within your organisation, but no more than is typically experienced by companies when Software Asset Management is first introduced.

I would welcome your thoughts on the above…

Equally, you are welcome to review our videos on the topic via our videos page.


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1 comment

  1. Although SLO does indeed have a half-life for most organization it is long enough to deliver tremendous benefits at a moment in time, usually prior to EA renewals, ULA certifications or sub-cap declarations.

    I agree that metering is an important component of any SLO project but even it’s results are limited after the low handing fruit have been identified.

    The difference between SLO and ITAO are really one in the same when you consider the biggest optimizations for most organizations is in there deployment on visualized servers.

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