Johannesburg, 24 Jan 2024
It may be something of a tired phrase in the IT world to say that businesses should be "doing more with less", but there remains truth in the old ages. Notably, businesses seeking to contain or reduce their IT services costs in the current inflationary environment should recognise the value of effective renewals and asset management.
Remember that software is critical to business success in today’s digital world. This is because, far from merely being a business enabler, software in the modern world is vital for effective business operations. Thus, it is critical to not only know the scope of your organisation’s software but also where you sit concerning the governance thereof.
According to Rone Steyn, head of Dante Deo’s project office, the nature of business today, and especially its use of IT, is such that the management of software is a role that should be considered a specialised function.
“For one thing, the governance of renewals should be focused on reducing business costs, along with ensuring that the product remains relevant to the organisation. It should remove complexity where necessary, while at the same time allowing the business to continue running seamlessly,” she says.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that as a specialised function, it should be about more than just counting licences – it should clearly also be about ensuring compliance. In other words, risk, vendor and life cycle management are all key aspects of the role.”
She indicates that Dante Deo delivers software management that assists the organisation in multiple ways. Firstly, it ensures you know what has been used, so you don’t pay for unused software or licences. Secondly, it ensures the business fit, cancelling – within the relevant terms and governance rules – software that no longer fits the IT scope. Finally, it also plays a role in the annual renewal of contracts, and the negotiations for a better price from the vendor.
“Remember that when your company’s software assets are running smoothly and effectively, it positions you to focus more closely on your core business. With technology evolving all the time, it is imperative you have experts to ensure your digital ecosystem is meeting your business needs and servicing your clients properly.
“Critically, we also help the client to develop an exit strategy for eliminating the software that their business no longer requires, while providing them with advice around what technologies should replace this and where in the business they should be implemented.”
Here, she points to one of Dante Deo’s biggest recent success stories, which involved working with the mining house Anglo American. The company was asked to deliver true visibility to this massive enterprise, with regard to what software and licences they had across the organisation.
“Once we had obtained the requisite visibility, we were able to help them to reduce the complexity of their IT arena significantly, by identifying solutions that can be consolidated or were no longer relevant to the business. In the process of this project, we were able to save Anglo American somewhere in the region of R140 million,” she adds.
“In other instances, we have worked with clients to obtain a better deal on their volume licensing requirements by negotiating an agreement that has seen licence costs reduced from around $200 per licence to just $20 per licence.”
Steyn explains that Dante Deo positions itself as a trusted advisor, a role which brings additional benefits to the client. The first of these is having a specialist team that comprehends contracts, understands IT and is able to focus on helping clients ensure their IT licences are renewed on time and will add to the strategy they have for the business. They will also attempt to decrease the complexity of the IT scope.
“Essentially, what Dante Deo does for its clients is to manage risk: the risk of not renewing your software licences on time; the risk of cost surprises from vendors; and the risk of not having enough visibility around what has been deployed and how it is being used.
“At Dante Deo, we know technology, we live and breathe it, and thus we always see it as an enabler. But it is more than just an enabler to do business – it is now an enabler to be great, and this greatness is provided by the trusted advisor because, while Dante Deo doesn’t develop technology, the company certainly ensures that it works for our clients like never before,” she concludes.