A mid-August statement from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior put the spotlight on how federal ministries and subordinate authorities manage their software holdings. Christoph A. Harvey, CEO of the Leipzig-based software manufacturer DeskCenter Solutions AG and an expert in IT asset and license management, sees further need for action here. This is because the technical possibilities for automated dynamic asset intelligence exist and are already being used successfully both at the municipal level and in the free economy. Here is his comment:
Digitization is not about spectacular projects with virtual reality glasses or air taxis. Rather, it’s about breaking down information silos, linking processes, and merging essential data. This applies equally to industry and public authorities, from the commune to the federal government. Digitization therefore begins in IT. Only those who know which hardware and software are in stock can manage them sensibly and cost-efficiently.
In this respect, the Federal Government’s move to establish guidelines for overarching license management is just right. A uniform purchasing system, “Standards for the detection of software license holdings of the individual authorities are to be consolidated” and a future software portfolio of the Federal Administration are the first, essential measures. Consolidation of this applies both within a portfolio and across the board to the federal administration. Today, no one has to do this inventory manually, there is now sophisticated software.
However, efficient license management still needs to progress, because the licenses that are needed today, may not be needed tomorrow. It is therefore important to check on an ongoing basis whether the purchased software is still being used productively. If not, it must be shared for the use of others, ideally automatically. As information from the Federal Ministry of the Interior confirmed, at the request of the deputy Victor Perli (the Left), a licensed exchange specially dedicated for this purpose is hardly used. Here too, the software-base can be fixed, any unused software can be located, and tax revenue can be optimised. Licenses that are broken can then – automatically – be uninstalled, returned to the pool of available licenses and made available to other users. In the free economy, this is already working successfully and has been shown to contribute significantly to cost savings. And even at the municipal level, continuous IT and license management works brilliantly, as shown by the Augsburg district council office.