Increase transparency, optimize software-related costs and improve control over regulatory and licensing risks within the bank.
AO Raiffeisenbank, a major entity within Raiffeisen Bank International AG, relies on a wide range of software products published by such leading vendors as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. Every vendor has its own software licensing and license accounting rules and management of Microsoft, Oracle and IBM licenses was becoming particularly challenging. This was due to the wide variety of licensing and support models as well as different ways of using the purchased licenses.
Over time, the total number of licenses acquired by the bank reached a level where it became quite a challenge to keep them up to date and manage them manually using makeshift automation tools.
The bank needed flexible and transparent license management to avoid buying additional software packages and to make the best use of existing ones. However, in some cases, it made sense to give up some of the software licenses that were no longer required and to renegotiate support contracts, for example, when the number of users of the relevant software decrease.
Bank management decided to put in place a formalized Software Asset Management (SAM) process and to automate it as much as possible in order to achieve best compliance with regulatory requirements and Russian laws. The bank’s IT managers faced the task of implementing automated accounting of licenses, software copies, support contracts and related costs.
They specifically needed a solution that would maintain a record of not just the number of software copies but also the activated software options.
User license agreements often cover the use of software with specific options only, so any violation discovered by vendor auditors during software audits could result in additional costs and sometimes even hefty fines. The bank also needed to establish an end-to-end process for managing these assets throughout their lifecycle, including purchase planning and usage optimization decision making, such as the migration of systems to different software and hardware platforms.
Since most license provisions depend on the features of specific platforms (particularly the hardware), it is possible to minimize costs by deploying software on a different configuration. The bank also looked to implement financial accounting of software assets. Another key task involved managing software support contracts under which the bank regularly receives update packages, including patches for dangerous information security vulnerabilities.