As the corporate IT ecosystem becomes more software-based and, as a result, more complex, there is only one way to maintain the reliability, performance and security of your organization’s infrastructure software assets and software-driven infrastructure.  

Proper software lifecycle management keeps these assets up to date and functioning optimally, in alignment with your business goals and processes. It also reduces your total cost of ownership by avoiding unnecessary spending on outdated or underused software.

The lifecycle-management approach extends to hardware, too – the other core component of any infrastructure solution that enables organizations to deliver products and services.

However, according to the 2024 Infrastructure Lifecycle Management Report from NTT DATA, nearly half of all organizations say their technology strategy (including lifecycle management) is not fully aligned with their business objectives.

Let’s look at five ways you can put your organization on the road to efficient infrastructure software lifecycle management.

1. Gain visibility and control

You can’t control what you can’t see. Having a clear and accurate view of your infrastructure software assets allows you to make informed decisions about software upgrades, compliance and license management.

Our report shows that 82% of senior technology decision-makers agree that a lack of visibility across their network architectures is restricting their operational insights and causing reactive firefighting when problems occur.

This leaves them unable to plan consistently. Their licenses may be misaligned and over- or underused, and they have little insight into how their hardware and software infrastructure assets are contributing – or not – to their sustainability goals.

Implementing platforms and services that offer detailed insights and control can help align infrastructure software lifecycle management with business objectives such as cost optimization and improved employee experience.

Focus on integration and standardization

Integrating and harmonizing infrastructure software assets across a multivendor environment is critical – but complicated. You may need to manage a range of vendor sales and licensing models in the market, including:

  • Perpetual software: A licensing model in which users buy a software license that does not expire, so they can use that version of the software indefinitely. They may receive updates and support for a limited period, then choose to renew their support and update the software for an additional fee.
  • Software as a service (SaaS): In this model, cloud-based software is provided to your organization over the internet, allowing for pay-per-use or other flexible pricing models. The software is hosted by the provider, so it does not require any installation or maintenance by the user.
  • Term and content subscription software: You pay a regular fee (usually monthly or yearly) to access a product over a specified period. This model may include upgrades and support, and is increasingly used for software deployed on-premises.

Standardizing your infrastructure software procurement and management processes across vendors can mitigate the risks associated with license compliance, security breaches and operational disruptions. This approach also makes it easier to maintain a secure IT environment.

3. Consider the sustainability benefits

Sustainability goals that relate to your hardware might be a more obvious starting point in your organization – for example, refurbishing or recycling aging equipment to reclaim scarce materials and minerals vital for manufacturing –but modern infrastructure software lifecycle management practices also make a contribution.

Software-driven infrastructure can help you achieve greater levels of carbon savings by running ecofriendly smart buildings, using digital twins to create virtual models of infrastructure, or enabling IoT solutions for environmental monitoring such as leak detection or even just flagging open doors that should be closed.

Also, by measuring and analyzing energy and water consumption across your business operations in real time, these systems can employ AI modeling to find new ways of reducing waste and carbon emissions.

4. Go proactive with license renewal and optimization

Regularly reviewing and renewing your infrastructure software licenses and subscriptions makes it less likely that you’ll pay for unnecessary features or services.

Proactive management helps in negotiating better terms during renewals, optimizing software use and reducing your overall costs. It also prevents issues related to software end-of-life, such as security vulnerabilities and compliance risks.

Service providers have close relationships with a range of vendors, which means they can help you renew your licenses at the best possible price and terms while optimizing your license consumption and adoption.

5. Team up with an expert partner

Collaborating with an experienced service provider like NTT DATA will help you navigate the complexities of infrastructure software lifecycle management, from procurement to decommissioning. The benefits include:

  • An improved level of software adoption and more budget certainty
  • Streamlining your software governance and compliance processes through a centralized service portal and dashboard
  • Controlling your multivendor software environment from one place (you benefit from the service provider’s relationships with leading software providers and platforms, and you save money and reduce risk by optimizing your software asset delivery)
  • Staying on top of software licensing and contracts with proactive and predictive notifications and resolutions to avoid penalties and fines
  • Support and expertise on demand anytime, anywhere

Take the next step

At NTT DATA, we also make it much simpler to manage all your vendors: we deploy a portal to access and update the data on your multivendor assets, and our expert teams can assist with asset and account management across vendors.

Our report shows that 89% of organizations agree that access to such a portal is a key enabler of network visibility. So, get in touch to regain control of your software assets.

Read more about NTT DATA’s Software-defined Infrastructure Services to see how you can benefit from a comprehensive asset lifecycle strategy.