Queensland to centrally manage software assets

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Queensland to centrally manage software assets

Plans to hunt down dormant licences.

Queensland’s peak ICT agency wants to centralise software asset management in an effort to minimise the money it spends on unused licences and leverage its software buying power.

The Department of Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) is planning a shift from the “fragmented approach” of the past where “agencies have tended to work to their own requirements and have often focused solely on their own business goals” when sourcing software.

“This has resulted in an expensive and fragmented ICT infrastructure which often duplicates solutions and impedes the sharing and re-use of services,” it said as part of an Invitation to Offer (ITO) issued to the market late on Friday.

DSITIA is calling for bids to provide a cloud-based software asset management toolset for use across the government, as well as conducting baseline data gathering, licence pooling and compliance management on DSITIA’s behalf.

The successful bidder’s first job will be to undertake a detailed survey of the data holdings of three Queensland agencies, to come up with a schedule of savings opportunities. The data will be used to put together a business case backing the centralised software management scheme.

If the business case is approved the second phase of the project will see the successful bidder expand the survey across all Queensland agencies and establish the software asset management toolset. Tender documents reveal a total of 434,782 desktops, 170,819 laptops and 8,488 physical servers currently in use across Queensland’s agencies, schools and TAFE facilities.

A whole raft of savings opportunities could be realised by the Government if it cut down on unused licences in agencies, according to the whole-of-government ICT Audit released in June.

‘Right-sizing’ application licences across the largest vendors – such as IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, Cisco and SAP – could save the Government between $1.4 million and $5 million per annum in the long term, it suggested.

Simply regulating the frequency of orders for new licences could save hundreds of thousands more, as the average procure-to-pay cycle for Microsoft or Adobe products costs the Government $200. Limiting agencies to on Adobe order per quarter could save $106,000 per annum and limiting them to one Microsoft order could save $210,000 per annum, the audit report estimated.

DSITIA hopes that a better view of the State’s spend on software assets and its requirements will help in the transition to the ‘ICT-as-a-Service’ approach being pushed by Government following the recommendations of the Queensland Commission of Audit.

Centralisation, it hopes, will also “reduce the burden placed on agencies with respect to software asset management and allowing them to focus on their core business of frontline service delivery”.

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