As digital transformation persists, enterprises have been more frequently purchasing software as a service (SaaS) based applications that are consumed, but not installed. With the use of these applications come unique challenges, such as tracking consumption in relation to licenses, that you must be prepared to tackle in order to ensure success and ROI for your digital transformation program.

Enter: software lifecycle management (SLM). Software lifecycle management is designed to increase the value of your software from deployment to retirement. In short, SLM helps an organization use what is purchased and ensure that they are renewing only what is needed.

Managing the lifecycle of a SaaS solution requires you to take a closer look at who is using the solution most, how often, and where the solution is no longer being used. From deployment to retirement, effective SLM gives visibility into the cost efficiency and use of each application. Every patch, update, or otherwise needs to be on your radar, from on-premises to multi-cloud environments. Let’s delve deeper into how you can improve your organization’s application management across distributed environments.

The Challenges of Managing Distributed Applications

Applications have become more distributed in recent years due to the fact that many now run on more than one system at a time. While it was once commonplace for an application to run on one system alone, today they are more likely to be stored on servers or in the cloud.

Managing distributed applications can be challenging. When data is more spread out, visibility into how it is used and where it is stored is reduced. Plus, distributed applications lend themselves to multiple users at once. With this many moving parts, it can be difficult to understand where in your distributed environment to start implementing SLM.

Your organization should focus on how your applications work together and how to ensure visibility. Whether you have one application on a server and one in the cloud, centralizing reporting and metrics for how and by whom these solutions are used, and where in the software lifecycle each program is, is a good place to begin the software lifecycle management process.

Reduce Spend and Licensing Discrepancies

When data becomes more spread out, higher costs and licensing discrepancies become more probable. This is where SLM comes in. A stringent software lifecycle management program can help you predict what is in store so you can properly allocate budget and save time that could be better used elsewhere.

In order to truly understand how SLM can benefit you, take a look at the EIC model. EIC stands for Entitlement, Inventory, and Consumption. The EIC model is all about visibility. Visibility into what your organization owns, visibility into what your organization has installed, and visibility into what your organization uses each day. If you don’t know what is happening with these aspects of your SaaS applications, you aren’t going to reap the benefits of software lifecycle management.

How to Leverage SLM

An SLM program will help to maximize the value of your software assets by increasing the application management through the EIC model. Having a firm grip on your entitlements, inventory, and consumption will be the key to improving the management of your distributed environments.

So, as data begins to spread out and more users come into play, you can use your SLM program to automate tasks and decrease the amount of manpower needed to stay up-to-date on your assets. In doing so, you will be able to cut back time that could be devoted to growing your organization in other ways.

Plus, a rigorous SLM plan means insights further down the road. If you’re noticing that there is software that is not being consumed, you will know where to cut back and reduce spend. An integrated SLM solution, such as that from SoftwareONE, gives your team the opportunity to manage applications from a single portal, allowing for easier collaboration that can fit right into your existing infrastructure. This way, you won’t be bogged down when trying to gain visibility into your distributed environments.

Keep Improving

Managing applications across distributed environments can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Integrating a software lifecycle management program into your strategy will benefit your organization with improvements to productivity, spend reduction, greater network visibility, and digital transformation that drives business results. Keep looking inward to determine where your organization lacks visibility into application consumption. Remember: application management through SLM is not a one-time process, but must be reviewed and optimized for continued improvement.