12 Tips For Eliminating Software Waste At Your Company

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Sometimes, businesses invest in new software because it sounds great on paper. Unfortunately, the technology they acquire ends up being underutilized or wholly ignored—becoming “software waste.” Tech budgets aren’t infinite, and the money spent on unused software could have been put toward other hardware or software that the company actually needed.

In addition to potentially wasting budget dollars, investing in technology simply because it’s new or trendy can introduce problems ranging from lack of compatibility to frustration among team members. Below, 12 members of Forbes Technology Council share their best tips for trimming the fat and avoiding software waste while keeping useful technology operating at full efficiency.

1. Keep Assessing, And Beware Of Duplication

A lot of organizations will end up procuring software with considerable functional crossover. That’s why it’s important to conduct software assessments at least twice a year. Each department or major user of the software should define how and why they need each tool. These reviews can help identify where the duplication is and which pieces can be eliminated without too much drama. – Abhinav Somani, LEVERTON

2. Only Buy Software You Really Need

Businesses should purchase software that’s solving a core problem or need. Every purchase should have some tie to a business objective or OKR (objective and key result). Revisit the need on a quarterly basis and ask if that need is being satisfied. Drive a process that encourages intellectual honesty versus opinion. – Ashar Rizqi, Blameless

3. Tie Everything Into The Core Strategy

Tie everything to the company’s core strategy. If it doesn’t contribute to business goals, then why would you be surprised if some software is underutilized? Perform an inventory of all applications and then decide as a business which ones stay or not. Once you have a list of software applications, write this list into your company’s policy to establish a process for approving future software. – Jeffrey Ton, InterVision

4. Leverage Consumption-Based Pricing

Leveraging either consumption- or subscription-based pricing provides organizations the ability to rightsize their software usage. It also allows for more of a pay-as-you-go model where software is tested and proven before being broadly purchased. This type of high-velocity software adoption eliminates software waste. – Danny Allan, Veeam Software

5. Work With Partners That Engage You

Don’t let your software turn into most people’s gym membership. Choose partners that actively engage you. They are more likely to be focused on your overall success and not just closing the next renewal. When you have a human being who regularly talks with you, knows what you’re accountable for and understands what drives your business, you’re less likely to waste the associated software budget. – Guy Yalif, Intellimize

6. Get Buy-In Before Purchase

Drive all purchase decisions through a business value lens. Focus on how the software will be rolled out internally across teams. Shared service teams such as infrastructure, security and IT should spend considerable time in “selling” value internally with groups and individual users, getting buy-in before purchasing the software. – Pradeep Ittycheria, kasasa.com

7. Take Advantage Of Free Trials

Some businesses get excited about all the new software on the market and they jump right in and start buying them all. Instead, take advantage of free trials. Many software companies offer free trials so you can try something out before you buy it. This will help you cut down on software waste because you can determine if the software is useful before making the decision to purchase it. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

8. Focus On Employee Experience And Enablement

The reason why more than one-third of the average company’s tech budget goes to software waste is that these organizations focus on the technology and not the employee using it. It is essential to focus on the employee experience and how and why they will be using new technology. Also, many organizations still use traditional change management techniques versus focusing on actually enabling employees. – Nadir Hirji, PwC

9. Start Using SaaS Management Software

The rise of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications created a blind spot for IT and procurement teams, making it very hard to track which tools are being used and their license utilization. Introducing SaaS management software can bring instant visibility back to the decision-makers by identifying which applications are used, finding underutilized and wasted licenses and immediately reducing software waste. – Uri Nativ, Torii

10. Focus On Adoption And Ongoing Engagement

SaaS offers cost savings over legacy tools and facilitates collaboration and remote work, but many companies struggle to quantify the return on investment or deliver adoption and engagement metrics. While cutting software waste is important, businesses that look at how employees are engaging with SaaS will be closer to achieving the objectives they had in mind when they bought the software in the first place. – Jody Shapiro, Productiv

11. Automate Software Distribution

In addition to the noticeable financial impact, software waste can risk an organization’s health by increasing the likelihood of failures or attacks. It is essential to consistently keep the software resources in front of their intended users. Automating software distribution in terms of installations, upgrades and removal can dramatically improve utilization and reach. – Mahesh Chaddah, Reservations.com

12. Integrate Bottom-Up Budgeting With Success Criteria

Most waste comes from teams fearful of losing budget dollars they already have allocated. By integrating bottom-up budgeting with key success criteria for each team, it becomes easier for departments to understand what technology is contributing to the company’s mission and goals, what’s required to simply keep the lights on and what’s missing to support their future. – Robert Fly, Elevate Security

[“source=forbes”]