Review Your Licenses

Do you really need all those software licenses you’re paying for?

We all do it. We sign up for the latest and greatest subscription service, get all the value we can out of it for a few months, then slowly start to use it a little less until you’re handing over money every month for something you hardly use.

Whether it’s that Netflix subscription that you haven’t logged into for 3 months, or that lifestyle benefit you thought would spur you into action (I’m looking at you, gym membership!) I bet if you look through your bank statement you’ll find at least one questionable subscription taking your hard earned cash every month.

With more and more software being offered on a monthly subscription basis, the same can often be said about your business. When was the last time you sat down and though about what your business needs and what you’re actually paying for?

This week, take some time to work through these simple steps and make sure you aren’t overpaying for your IT.

Step One – Make a List

In fact, make two lists.

First think about the tasks you complete on a daily, weekly, monthly and perhaps annual basis and make a list of the software you use. Speak to the other members of your team and make sure you get everything they use too. We’ll call this List A.

Then, go through your bank statements, your credit card bills, and your accounts and list every software license you pay for. You may need to lean on Google to identify some of them, especially if you purchase through a reseller, just make sure you’re left with enough detail so that you can match it up with the first list you made. Call this one List B.

Step Two – Cut the Dead Wood

Go through List B and match up every cost to the software it relates to in List A. You may find some of List A is left without a cost against it – that’s fine if they’re free tools. If not, make sure you’re properly licensed and that you’ve got the cost in List B. Saving money is great, but not at the expense of running illegal unlicensed software.

Find a subscription in List B that you haven’t put in List A? Maybe you can do without that one… check that you’re not about to make anyone’s day that much harder by killing a tool they make good use of and get that subscription cancelled!

Step Three – Check Your User Counts

Most software is licensed on a per-user or per-machine basis. For each piece of software in List B check your license terms and make sure you’re not paying for more than you need.

Be aware of cancellation periods and minimum user counts that come with some licenses – you may need to pay for 3 users even though you’ve only got 2 for example.

If you find you’re paying for users that you don’t need and can cancel, then get them cancelled!

Step Four – Look for Features

Most subscription-based software companies take a multi-tiered approach. This results in a number of options when it comes to licensing their software.

Microsoft, for example, has more than 10 different options for licensing the Microsoft Office suite, each with a different set of features aimed at a different type of business.

For each of your subscriptions, get a list of the features that come with each level and work out the lowest level that meets the needs of your business. There’s a great comparison chart for Microsoft 365 over at https://m365maps.com/.

Once you’ve work out which level you need to be at, see if any of your licenses are able to be downgraded to this level. Some suppliers will allow you to mic and match licenses across your organisation, so keep that in mind if your users have different needs.

Step Five – Be a Little Ruthless

By now you should have enough information to put a cost against each piece of software (or package) that you’ve got left in List A, and the features that you get for that money.

Go through that list and make sure you’re seeing value for each and every item on that list. Consider how much productivity, stress, or lost revenue you’d incur if you dropped that piece of software and make sure that you’re not paying more for the software than it would cost you to lose it.

If you find anything that isn’t providing you value, then get rid!

These steps will help you root out those unnecessary subscriptions, and a small amount of time spent on an infrequent basis could save you a considerable amount of money over the course of a year.

If you would like a hand evaluating your current software usage and requirements, you can book a free 30-minute call with us to review your current setup and allow us to make a few simple suggestions for how you can improve, save money and grow your business with the right IT support.

Need Some Help?

If you’d like to have a chat about your current IT setup, just fill in the form and hit send.

It’s that simple!

No commitment. No pressure. Just an informal chat about your pain points and a few easy things that you can do to improve things.