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July 31, 2012

Why Standardized Software Across IT Makes Sense

I’m not certain what drives some users to clamor for the latest software. Maybe it’s about keeping up with the Joneses or just the thrill of having something new. Regardless, it wreaks havoc on an IT department. Managing multiple versions of software is a headache. It complicates licensing, deployment, updates, maintenance, integration, and in the end, drains your IT budget.

What’s more, IT life isn’t likely to get any simpler. The perfect storm looks to be on the horizon. A recent study by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and reported by Mike Vizard of ITBusinessEdge suggests that IT departments are “likely to be shaped more by forces outside the control of the IT organization” than by the IT department itself.

While we wait for the big blow, there are a lot of squalls IT has to navigate just to get through the day. I came away from some recent customer visits with this list of IT challenges they face:

  • Demonstrate the ROI of all technology investments.
  • Ensure solutions don’t indirectly drive up the cost of IT, such as more help-desk calls, unnecessary additions to the IT footprint, or difficult deployments which strain IT resources.
  • Buy solutions that fit within the IT infrastructure. Because of the large investment within existing systems, any solution that doesn’t fit within the established standards requires a very strong business justification.
  • Acquire programs that can enhance the value of existing infrastructure by driving higher usage are appealing.

So why make IT more complicated than it needs to be? Companies like yours have standardized on Adobe Acrobat to address many of these pain points. They simplified the licensing that supports enterprise-wide deployment and with that software license management. They benefit from enterprise-wide maintenance and support that helps them get the most out of the investment. Plus, Acrobat integrates easily to the IT environment.

For example, Arup, a global engineering and design firm, standardized its operations on the latest version of Acrobat using the Adobe enterprise license agreement (ELA) to distribute software to employees worldwide through the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager suite—a virtual software store. Arup employees can simply request Acrobat, submit the request for approval, and IT support will download the software directly to their desktops in an automated process.

For RSM McGladrey, a tax and assurance consultancy, the enterprise program with Adobe streamlined Acrobat licensing and deployment on an ongoing basis. Today, the company spends about two hours annually tracking and updating Acrobat software licenses—a 98 percent decrease over the previous time spent by IT.

Similarly, since moving to the enterprise contract, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has reduced IT maintenance and administrative costs because everyone throughout the agency is using the same version of Acrobat. In addition, predictable budget requirements result in more effective fiscal planning.

Bottom line, by standardizing on Acrobat across your IT environment you can save a lot of time and money. Check out the Adobe ELA to see where you can cut costs and save time.

Mark Grilli, senior director of Acrobat Solutions product marketing

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