May 26, 2020 | Budget, Reports

Can Your School Reduce Software?

Over-deployed software can waste tens of thousands of dollars of already strained IT budgets. Finding unused licenses is key to reducing spend without impacting students.

3 min

Providing students with the software they need is important–and expensive. With good intentions, colleges and universities tend to over-deploy software to ensure students have easy access. However, unused licenses end up costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Are you considering cutting software licenses to save money? How do you know which programs to cut or how many licenses you actually need?

Benefits of Reducing Software

  • Save on unused licenses
  • Reduce image size
  • Limit recurring expenses

Risks of Reducing Software

  • Students may lose access to required software
  • Even if software is available students may not be able to find computers with software they need

How to strategically reduce software costs

To ensure that students don’t lose access to necessary software applications, review your LabStats usage data to see which programs students rely on, and identify what they rarely or never use. This will help you determine if you can reduce software, how many licenses can go, and which ones should be the first to be cut.

LabStats Reports

  • Application Dashboard – shows the number of stations that have a particular software application installed
  • Application Manager – shows a list of all applications on computers in your environment
  • Application Launch History – displays 4 graphs showing the total usage time for the selected application(s) in minutes (by default), the launch count of applications, the average session length for applications and the maximum concurrent usage for applications. 

Gather information and prioritize software

Identify the most expensive packages, most widely used applications, monthly subscriptions and upcoming license renewals. If a software package is in license increments, identify how many licenses you’d need to reduce to qualify for a lower increment. Consider using a simple Excel spreadsheet like the one below to prioritize software packages.

Steps

  • Find the software installed on the most stations. 
    • Navigate to Applications, then click Dashboard, and sort by Stations Installed.
  • Find install count for expensive programs. 
    • Determine your most expensive applications by reviewing annual and monthly payments.
    • Navigate to Applications, then click Manager. Search for the name of an expensive application, for instance, SPSS.
    •  View the install count.
  • Once you’ve identified the highest priority applications based on pricing, install count and renewals, move onto the next step.
  • Identify maximum concurrent usage.
    • Navigate to Reports, then click Application Launch History.
    • Select a date range that reflects the current situation and your best guess as to near-future conditions.
    • Select all stations and no schedules.
    • Click on All Applications, and in the pop-up, choose an application from the drop-down menu, for instance, SPSS.
    • Use the arrows in the upper left corner of the graph to navigate to the Max Concurrent Usage view. In this example, you can see that usage has been extremely low since the beginning of the lockdown, and below 125 sessions (approximately 13%) during normal use.
  • Double-check the previous semester. 
    • This example shows that the max concurrent use is consistently less than 125 sessions.
  • Make data-driven decisions.
    • This school could reasonably reduce 700 licenses, a savings of $70,000 per month or $840,000 per year (assuming licenses are $100 per machine, per month).

Consider Discoverability

Most schools over-deploy software so that students can find it on whatever machine they happen to sit down at. However, there are ways to ensure students have easy access to the software they need, without over-deploying. LabStats offers 3 solutions to help students find the resources they need on campus:

  • LabMaps – Add a list of priority software to a computer lab map displayed on digital signage or your school website.
  • LabFind – Direct students to labs with specialty software via a mobile app.
  • Remote Access Dashboard – Help students remotely connect to computers that have expensive software installed.

To learn more about finding applications that are never used, watch the Finding Zero Use video tutorial or follow these step by step instructions
Also check out the following support article: How Do I Identify Unused Software Licenses?