Does this describe the software procurement process at your company?

 “Anyone can pretty much buy any low cost title at anytime”


Maybe those purchases fly under your management radar because of the low purchase cost…which is fine, until you realize, after the fact, that A LOT of employees in your organization have decided to make that same purchase of a popular new title AND they all need to call your outsourced IT services provider, who doesn’t work for free, to get the software installed.

In other words, you may *never* actually see this happening, driving up your overhead costs unnecessarily. In a not-so-trivial way.

homer DOH

The solution?

Bring relevant data together from multiple systems to see your *total* cost of ownership and monitor that information for “accelerating exceptions” while you can still intervene.

With the right data and tools, you can do just that.

What data should you be looking at? Just annual maintenance or subscription costs? What about labor costs for installation, configuration and support? How about amortization associated with capitalized purchase?

Components of Cost

Direct Non-Labor

  • Maintenance
  • Amortization

Direct and Indirect Labor

  • Help Desk
  • Install, Move, Add, Change
  • Requests for customization/change

Total cost of ownership data associated with those many cost components likely lives in multiple different systems.

If you can’t see all of these costs, by title and all in one place, you will have difficulty knowing which titles are the right titles to target for action to reduce spend, waste or surplus.

The Peril of “Deployed Cost”

Titles with low unit cost of purchase escape your vision until you look at “deployed cost” across many employees, and consider the future cost for continued subscription or maintenance. That low unit cost of purchase may come with a high cost for installation with an outsourced help desk/field support function that will elude you unless you can look at total cost per title.

And you will miss the opportunity in your procurement process to negotiate a lower unit cost for a high volume of anticipated purchases, or optimize your support process for more efficient deployment.

Alteryx to the Rescue


I’ve used Alteryx Designer to pull disparate cost data from multiple related but isolated systems together into one, cohesive data set to create actionable information in the form of dashboards and pivot tables that allow for targeted decisions and action to lower total cost of ownership.

Alteryx is a great tool for just this kind of scenario.  You can use Alteryx to listen to what your data is telling you on a regular interval to spot trends and outliers early on to intervene and actively manage cost lower.

And finally, the Good News

So the good news here is that you don’t have to look in the rear view mirror at your annual maintenance costs once a year after the fact. Save potentially big bucks by monitoring and managing what your data is trying to tell you about your total cost of ownership as it happens.