In this installment of our series, ITAM Tips from the Trenches, Director of Anglepoint’s Oracle licensing practice, Jeremy Sayler, shares practical tips for great IT Asset Management. Specifically, this tip relates to considerations with third-party support.
As corporations around the globe are feeling inflationary pressure on their IT budgets, third-party support may be proposed as a potential for budget reduction. Especially since in many cases, software support fees associated with large software vendors can account for a significant portion of an IT budget.
When considering a move to third-party support, many organizations are attracted by the potential cost savings, and no doubt, cost savings are important. However, we recommend that organizations consider three important factors before moving to third-party support.
Consider your product roadmap
The first factor to consider is is your product roadmap . Some questions you’ll want to be able to answer are: Will you continue using these programs for the next 5, 10 or 15 years? Will you need to upgrade these programs or associated hardware, or software integrated with the programs?
Ongoing use of software programs, even for extended periods of time does not preclude your ability to move to third-party support. However, it will require more strategic planning and actions to ensure the long-term viability of those programs. As one example, can you download all the required patches/fixes and updates for any hardware or operating systems that you anticipate using over the lifecycle of your programs? Missing a necessary patch/fix after leaving vendor support can be a painful mistake.
Consider security patching and vulnerability exploits
The second factor to consider with a move to third-party support is security patching and vulnerability exploits . Software vendors often provide security patches for supported programs. If no longer under vendor support, do you know what compensating controls will your IT Security group will find acceptable to secure your programs? In some cases, third-party support providers may offer software security solutions along with their support offering. Be sure that you are confident in your security posture if leaving vendor support.
Evaluate your software license consumption
Our third factor to consider with a move to third-party support is to evaluate your license consumption. You can use your software license consumption data to negotiate your third-party support fees. Many software vendors force their licensees to support all programs regardless of actual consumption, however, third-party support providers should have no obligation to enforce similar restrictions. Also, if you plan to decrease usage of any software programs over time, you can negotiate reduced fees over the length of your third-party support contract.
Those are our tips from the trenches for what to consider and how to be well positioned should a move to third-party support make sense for your organization.
About ITAM Tips from the Trenches
ITAM Tips from the Trenches is an on-going series of useful, bite-sized ITAM knowledge and expertise shared by Anglepoint experts who work in the ITAM trenches day-in and day-out.