Erin Provazek, assistant IT director for College Station, Texas, doesn’t want to overstate it, but says the city couldn’t have gone from managing 750 computers to 900 without asset management software.
In the past, building and deploying computer images used to take four hours. With
Novell ZenWorks Configuration Management, the task now takes less than 45 minutes. Provazek says the tool has allowed the IT department to manage the city’s growth without adding too many new employees.
“Software applications are bundled, and the system does silent installs and copies,” Provazek says. “Plus, we know exactly what’s on the computer, which programs people are using and which they’re not using.”
ZenWorks also tracks software licensing and compliance. “It was too difficult managing software manually,” Provazek says. “We couldn’t keep it under control the way we wanted and be comfortable with an audit.”
Amy Konary, a research vice president for IDC, says that agencies also use asset management software to be more proactive.
“Organizations should not be looking to just avoid an audit, but also to obtain information on usage and license status that can be used to support future software purchases and negotiations,” she says.
Cloy Swartzendruber, senior IS manager in the Bureau of Technology Services in Portland, Ore., says the city uses Symantec Altiris to manage its software. The software enables the department to run semi-annual reports that check major software such as Adobe and Microsoft applications against purchased licenses. Reports for other licenses are done on demand, he adds.
“The asset management software helps us to ensure we are in license compliance, points out where we fall out of compliance and then helps us quickly to rectify,” Swartzendruber says. “It also tells us where we have too many licenses so we can avoid additional software spend and utilize the software we have more effectively.”
Swartzendruber estimates that staying in compliance saves the city thousands of dollars annually. Portland also avoids the cost of purchasing licenses it already owns.