CFO Software Management: The reality of the situation
As the CFO, you have the mandate to protect the assets of your company, working closely with your legal team to ensure you are free from lawsuits and audits, while maximizing ROI in any venture your company takes on. You work tirelessly to Protect your organization, board and shareholders from unforeseen financial pitfalls. Risk Management has always fallen on the shoulders of the CFO, and that’s especially true when it comes to Software Management. If you are a CFO, Software Management is becoming a way to drastically reduce financial exposure and control and reduce overall spend. Managing a company’s Software Assets has traditionally fallen in the lap of the I.T. team. Sure, there might be some oversight from the CFO but for the most part, Software Asset Management flies under the radar of a company’s Executive team. One fact that often gets over-looked is a strategy to understand and develop a Mature Software Asset Management (SAM) practice. Having a handle on SAM is one of the best and easiest ways for a company to drastically reduce costs and start to really drive ROI from the massive investments put into software. It is very likely that CFO software management in most companies could reduce overall cost associated with software by as much as 30% or even more when using the right approach.
I’ve written about this in the past. It’s no secret that Software Publishers are using the Audit as a revenue generating tool.
Why wouldn’t they? They know most business do not have an accurate handle on their software deployments and don’t truly understand use rights. Software licensing is complex. For almost every CFO software management in general is not widely understood. As technology shifts, software publishers constantly change and update use rights to protect their recurring revenue streams. Although I’m sure none would ever admit it, I believe it’s also to add additional complexity that often leads to non-compliance. Unfortunately for any business, an audit often means countless working hours wasted, gathering and compiling data for the auditor, which often turns into hefty fines and/or penalties. This is an expense that is almost never budgeted for. Money that could be used to grow and improve the business. Instead, that money goes to a Software Publisher that already makes a pretty penny off your business. Case in point, MetrixData 360 recently worked with a client that was found to have a $2.5 MILLION compliance gap. After a rigorous defense, the client paid just shy of $200,000 USD. While this can be seen as a victory to most, a proactive SAM strategy would have saved them having to pay out at all.
Did you know, that over 80% of Small/Medium businesses rely of Excel Spreadsheets to manage their Software License deployments?
Nostalgia is sometimes a good thing (when it comes to Atari video games and Star Trek re-runs), but when it comes to CFO software management, it’s time to move away from the old approach, and adopt new technologies. Technology is the future, and the future is NOW! The technology currently exists to get a near real-time update of potential exposure and risks. In the past, a company would often wait for a Software Audit, Contract Renewal or True-Up to understand their software inventory and deployments. By that time, it’s too late. Your company will over-spend when purchasing additional licenses, not to mention the Fines and Penalties that could be levied if any shortfall is found. There are SAM tools in the market-place right now, and while many are good, the clear majority fall short.
Sometimes these tools are complex and difficult to install. Many tools don’t paint a complete and concise picture of all deployments and simply do not have the deep logic to normalize that data into usable outputs. The key really is combining tools and processes into one powerful solution; a solution like SAM Compass. SAM Compass is a managed service offering from MetrixData 360 which provides you with a turnkey solution to Software Asset Management. You get access to cutting edge SAM tools, proven processes and top SAM experts. You get to free yourself up to do whats really important in your business while being confident that you have SAM under control.
Today, for the Proactive CFO, it is vitally important to have near real-time, accurate data at their finger tips. Automation is key, and by leveraging the proper tools and processes that ensure an accurate understanding of all owned software licenses and deployments, you safeguard your business from inflated costs and penalties. Gone are the days when managing licenses using tools like Excel was sufficient. You will never truly free yourself of exorbitant and unexpected costs until you move from a Reactive stance to a Proactive Process! Leveraging a team of experts, like the professionals at MetrixData 360 can be the ace in your pocket. Utilizing a Tool or Managed Service Offering; like SAM Compass will give you the visibility you need to be proactive and successful at a fraction of the cost.
There’s no doubt, the role of CFO is challenging and appears to be growing ever more complex. Like we have all heard a million times; “work smart, not hard”. That saying has never been more applicable. A relatively small investment in the CORRECT tool and process, can protect the assets of your company; a key pillar in any CFO’s mandate!