Big Wins For IT Pros With Microsoft 365 Licensing Optimization
Mastering the art of Microsoft 365 licensing optimization can provide huge cost savings for your organization – but it can also benefit your career.
Global software spending forecasts are projected to increase again, as businesses continue adopting digital solutions that streamline operations and accelerate growth, especially during these times of economic turbulence. Meanwhile, the concept of optimizing software licensing costs continues to gain traction, becoming a widely-adopted discipline for enterprise organizations in the wake of the Microsoft price hike in March 2022.
If your organization has not already jumped on the licensing optimization bandwagon, or fully embraced the ITAM (IT Asset Management) discipline and implemented a strategy, then this is a huge opportunity for IT Pros to demonstrate expertise and add value. And not necessarily just for the organization you are currently working for, but in reality – future organizations. Saving an enterprise millions of dollars through a successful licensing optimization strategy is something you definitely want to add to your resume.
Demonstrable Expertise and Aptitude
Licensing optimization at the enterprise level is not a challenge for the faint of heart, as it can become incredibly complex and cumbersome without theproper tools and data at your disposal. However, like Gartner said back in 2016, the associated savings are “…worth pursuing, as spending reductions contribute directly to the bottom line as gross profit.”
Show off Your SLO Strategy
Developing a SLO (Software License Optimization) strategy is obviously valuable to any organization because it provides a clear, cost-efficient path for software procurement based on license counts, usage and cost. An intelligent SLO strategy achieves the following:
Maximizes the value of software purchases.
Mitigates risks and ensures regulatory and contractual requirements are met.
Curbs unnecessary spending by purchasing only what is needed.
Fosters open dialogue around the procurement, re-allocation, retirement, and disposal of IT assets for the organization.
During this SLO development and strategy process, User Profiles are established organization wide. These functional profiles provide IT with the level of detail needed in order to accurately map user requirements and procure “right size” user licenses – i.e., purchase only what is absolutely needed.
However, on a personal, professional level – delivering a clearly articulated SLO strategy demonstrates your depth of knowledge around the complex M365 licensing ecosystem, and a fundamental understanding of the various licensing plans and the components included in each. It shows that you have a good grasp on the needs of employees, properly balanced with the needs of the business, and know which levers to pull in order to optimize current and future license expenditures. Which, in turn - all makes you an asset to the company.
Bring your innovation to the table
Illustrate to leadership that you have a fiscally conservative mindset by homing in and identifying craftier ways to reduce costs. This is where granular reporting will come to your aid, helping you quickly identify cost-saving opportunities that may not be as obvious such as overlapping, underutilized, duplicate and inactive licenses.
For a quick win, take into account the fact that an organization’s user count fluctuates as employees are added, subtracted and restructured. Dig into these scenarios and present leadership with Candidates for License Optimization - specific instances where licenses can be removed, re-assigned, or downgraded. Utilize usage-based reporting data to make better data-driven decisions not only for this purpose - but to leverage during future negotiations with SaaS vendors, and give yourself the upper hand.
Microsoft 365 licensing optimization is a complex task, no doubt about it. Especially for a large enterprise organization where license ownership is typically spread amongst user groups (IT / Engineering / Marketing / HR) and endpoint data is ambiguous or obfuscated.
However, licensing optimization does provide a pivotal opportunity for IT Pros to demonstrate leadership skills and add value to the organization while enhancing your personal portfolio as well. With licensing optimization, you can trim the fat from your current Microsoft 365 licensing ecosystem, and prevent future over-licensing disasters with a solid SLO strategy. Take things a step further and work to implement organizational policies and procedures around license purchasing, streamlining the associated workflows to ensure your strategy is a success. Having this established set of processes in order, with checkpoints on a quarterly and annual basis, will also ameliorate the Microsoft agreement renewal process and anniversary true ups.
To achieve this, you’ll need the proper set of reporting tools at your disposal, with robust reporting capabilities that enable you to quickly drill down into usage-based data and identify Candidates for Licensing Optimization. By adding ENow’s Licensing Optimization module to your toolbox, you’ll be able to deftly navigate the nuances associated with enterprise licensing optimization and generate major cost savings – a great win for the organization, and a great win for your career.
Microsoft Office 365 License Optimization
Managing Office 365 licenses is no easy task, and forecasting for future needs can be exhausting. At ENow, we believe in ‘buy only what you need, and adopt all that you buy’, and our solutions can help you achieve just that.
Efficiently and effectively optimize your Office 365 licenses to make informed licensing decisions with ENow Office 365 License Management reporting, including: customizable trend analysis, real-time licenses user lists, license addition history, and much more.