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Virtualisation savings slashed by licensing complexities

UK firms wanting to reap cost savings from virtualisation are “in for a shock” because of licensing non-compliance costs, claims a CEO.

Martin Prendergast, who holds the position at business analytics provider Concorde Solutions, says any potential savings are offset by penalties incurred through improper licensing practice.

“Many companies have found that there is a lot of value in moving their IT infrastructures to a virtualised environment, since it can offer security, reliability and most importantly for some companies, cost savings from the reduction of capital expenditure,” he claimed.

“However, when companies innovate and develop new systems and processes within their organisations, factors like he licensing of underlying software products are often overlooked, especially in a virtualised environment where it is notoriously difficult to keep track of estates.

“This is where governance issues have the potential to eat away at any initial cost savings made,” Prendergast, who is also Chair of the Cloud Industry Forum’s Software Value Management special interest group, added.

According to the CEO, all major software vendors have established, systematic licensing and business practices embedded throughout their sales cycle with the intention of maximising revenue.

However, Prendergast says, virtualisation has made it increasingly difficult to see the end user’s software estate, leading to vendors ensuring audit processes take place.

Tips for ensuring you reap cost savings

To avoid missing out of the potential cost efficiencies virtualisation offers, Prendergast suggests at least annual internal software compliance audits across the business.

Besides this, he suggests performing impact assessments of any changes in a network, engaging full with service and application administrators, creating a detailed analysis of requirements for each application and assessing the best license model and support option for both now and the future.

“Navigating through an ocean of technical requirements – let alone licence and contract and documentation – when you virtualise part or all of your business is an art-form in itself,” Prendergast claimed.

“If you can establish control of this from the beginning, you’ll be in a better position to gain from the many benefits that virtualisation has to offer,” he added.


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