With the current uncertainty surrounding the price of oil, coupled with the global economic downturn, it is imperative that the oil and gas industry focus on cutting costs and optimizing IT user and asset efficiency. The industry is looking for innovative ways to optimize software assets – making sure users have the tools and services they need in order to maximize productivity and efficiency – in ways that do not waste time or money. A major challenge is reducing the amount of time spent on managing software assets.

Software usage reporting and optimization tools can help achieve large savings within the first six months following implementation. These tools have a quick payback period with minimal post-implementation effort. They capture usage throughout the entire life cycle of the assets and are able to automate much of the optimization of software assets. The tools give great decision-making support to stakeholders charged with managing their respective assets: budget holders, portfolio managers, and key staff involved in training and support, enabling each of them to allocate resources where they will have the greatest impact.

Cost optimization programs should examine the activity levels of critical applications, and automatically reclaim inactive software licenses that can be assigned to more active users. This approach not only yields cost savings, but also ensures that high-priority projects or owners are consistently prioritized for limited, high-end applications. A good reporting and optimization tool provides a global overview of a company's assets and how they are used, by location, user-group or cost center, and can simulate usage by any entity, regardless how its infrastructure is configured.

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