ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Reduce Software Licensing Costs

Updated on January 8, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


Major software firms and smaller ones have shifted from a sales model, where you own the software application and the right to use it upon purchase, to a licensing model. Software licensing turns a single purchase into a long term payment plan and potentially permanent budget item.

How can you reduce your software licensing costs?

Software is the lifeblood of many operations - and software creators have shifted to licensing to ensure a constant stream of income.
Software is the lifeblood of many operations - and software creators have shifted to licensing to ensure a constant stream of income. | Source

How to Save Money on Software Licenses

  • Switch from licensing per installation to floating licenses based on usage at the time. Then monitor and manage user licenses, such as encouraging people to exit the application when it isn't in use.
  • Use software as a service or SaaS licenses to offer all software services through a common website. Then consolidate site based licenses to a single SaaS license agreement with a bulk discount. Software licenses for SaaS will typically be based on the number of users logged in at a single time instead of the total number of users.
  • Contract for a bulk license agreement based on average users per month instead of peak usage. Average usage is always lower than the peak usage.
  • Set a system log-off after a short period of inactivity (10-30 minutes) to minimize the number of licenses in use at any given time.
  • Require approval to install software or get a software license. This will prevent users who do not truly need the software from getting it.
  • Manage existing software licenses. Ensure that returned computers have the software uninstalled and the license released. Verify that software re-installations after a computer refresh do not consume an extra license.
  • Have users access their office PC remotely and run applications through the remote access instead of installing applications on both their work PC and laptop or mobile device.
  • Negotiate your software licensing agreement well before the next license renewal date. Ask about any and all discounts available. When you wait until the license is about to expire, you lose your negotiating position and time to hunt for deals.
  • Use free, open source software wherever possible and when it is compatible with your licensed applications.
  • Find out whether you have multiple software licensing agreements across project groups or work sites. Then seek a consolidated, discount software license for everyone.
  • Separate software licenses often exist because there are different versions and “flavors” of the same software in use across the organization. Upgrade everyone to the same software version, using the same operating system where possible. This simplifies software management and often the license management as well.
  • When upgrading existing software, seek a discount on the licenses to offset the purchase price of the new software version. If you cannot get a bulk discount, negotiate a better support agreement.
  • Reduce the number of software tools used by the organization. Fewer applications in use simplifies software support, reduces the number of licenses to be managed and can enable bulk license discounts for the remaining tools. At the very least, it eliminates the high cost per seat for specialized tools used by only a few.
  • Consolidate tools by finding alternative processes for specialized software tools or migrating users to tools that are company approved to be kept.
  • If your users have both open source tools and software for which you pay a licensing fee, consider reducing the number of paid licenses while making open source tools the standard on your desktop image.
  • Only include absolutely necessary tools like Microsoft Excel and email applications in your standard desktop image. Don't install licensed software on every computer, since it may not be necessary on all machines.
  • Require administrative rights for users to install software on corporate computers. Don't let users download and install software of their own choosing, since freeware and trial versions of software may not be licensed for commercial use though a demo on one's home computer is permissible.

© 2011 Tamara Wilhite


Submit a Comment

  • tamarawilhite profile imageAUTHOR

    Tamara Wilhite 

    12 months ago from Fort Worth, Texas

    drspaniel I'll say this issue is getting much more complex with cloud computing.

  • drspaniel profile image


    7 years ago from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year...

    Great information especially since I have a few software licenses.

  • mr-burns profile image


    7 years ago

    Some good information. Thanks


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)