Monash Uni wants greater control of fragmented software spend

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Monash Uni wants greater control of fragmented software spend

Currently has no uni-wide software license repository.

Monash University is seeking to bring its $14 million annual software spend under control by implementing a single, central repository for all its software licensing contracts.

The university's software purchases at the moment are fragmented; the largest enterprise software contracts (covering around 80 vendors) are managed by the university’s eSolutions department through full tender processes.

But there are also around 1200 minor software purchases made by business units across the university each year, with most procured by purchase order or credit card.

Additionally, a number of strategic project budgets also have what the university describes as “significant funds for software licensing”.

While eSolutions maintains records for all centrally managed licensing, these records do not cover faculty or department-specific software contracts.

The university has judged its software management maturity to be "basic", with “little control over what IT assets are being used and where”.

“Monash does not currently have a useful software asset management tool fully implemented,” tender document states.

“There are some network tools capable of providing point in time software asset audit functionality, software tools monitoring computer labs, and license servers for specific products, but these have not been implemented university-wide, and currently do not provide any significant software asset management benefits.”

The university has reached out to third-party software and service providers in a bid to better manage the situation.

Along with an automated central software repository, the university is looking at “services and solutions to assist with assessing our current starting position, planning for and setting future state goals, and the timely implementation of these”.

The project aims to get better insight and control of Monash’s fragmented software footprint, eliminate potential over- or under-licencing, improve procurement processes and buying decisions, and reduce costs through consolidated licensing.

Its efforts are complicated by its large and complex IT environment.

The university manages 23,000 personal computers on campus in Victoria, 85 percent of which run Windows, and 15 percent which run OS X.

There is also an on-campus data centre for research systems with approximately 1150 devices, along with an off-campus data centre with more than 400 pieces of kit hosting the enterprise production environment.

The majority of the data centre equipment runs Linux or Windows, and the university still has some legacy Sun Solaris equipment still in use.

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