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FCW : June 30, 2016
As expected, the category management policy for software issued by the Office of Management and Budget on June 2 requires agencies to produce and pro- vide to OMB inventories of the soft- ware they own. When that guidance is implemented, the government will gain a treasure trove of market intelligence, enabling reforms that eliminate unnecessary spending, save significant sums and encourage agencies to share efficien- cy practices, early warnings and good ideas. External objections to the inventory requirement are unlikely. Public com- ments on the draft software policy gen- erally favor annual agency inventories. Related concerns focus not on invento- ries but on the continuous diagnostic and mitigation tools that OMB pro- poses agencies use to conduct them. Software asset management, after all, is common in industry. Companies collect data on software licenses and how they are deployed — for example, which product, version and edition reside on what type of hardware. Hav- ing that information makes for more effective and fruitful negotiations, espe- cially with the manufacturers of the most commonly purchased software. Government can achieve similar negotiating success, and OMB can create the conditions for it by setting minimum governmentwide software data standards for agency inventories. Ensuring data consistency enables col- laboration with and among agencies and makes it easier for companies to deal with federal buyers. The software industry already uses BY DAVID SHIELDS AND TONY CRAWLEY The software inventories required under the draft category management policy will be treasure maps that lead to efficient, streamlined buying and unprecedented savings Knowledge is power in software purchasing AcquisitionMatters 30 June 30, 2016 FCW.COM Ensuring data consistency enables collaboration with and among agencies and makes it easier for companies to deal with federal buyers. SHUTTERSTOCK\1105MEDIA 0630fcw_030-031.indd 30 6/8/16 9:03 AM
June 15, 2016
July 15, 2016