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Procurement and asset management of commercial-off-the-shelf software : a case study of Thales Huizen

Gugler, Joël Benjamin (2019) Procurement and asset management of commercial-off-the-shelf software : a case study of Thales Huizen.

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Abstract:Purchasing costs take up between 50 and 80 percent of an enterprise’s operation. Such cost includes the acquisition of tangible – physical goods and intangible asset - software licenses. Without a centralized system of asset management, such cost might not be optimized and there could be an additional cost from the operational risk of non-compliance in term of license usage. Since scientific literature in this field is lacking while there is a growing demand for a clear understanding and operationalization of software sourcing and management to reduce non-com- pliance risk, there is a need for theoretical research into this field and a practical solution for such problem. The design approach is followed in which "problem identification and motivation, the definition of the objectives for a solution, design, and development" stages are explored. (Due to the scope of the research, the later stages of the design science approach are yet to be explored "demon- stration, evaluation, and communication".) The central research question is "How can the soft- ware sourcing and asset management process be improved to lower risks?", following by three sub-questions: SQ1) What is the current situation of software sourcing and management within Thales and their industry peers? SQ2) What risks and problems occur with the current software sourcing (and management) pro- cess? SQ3) What requirements and protocols would an improved software sourcing and management process need to have in order to minimise the risks and problems In order to answer this question, a case study of Thales Huizen (and Thales Hengelo) is explored, followed by comparison to other industry partners (NS, Company A etc). The case study uses semi-structured interview and process modelling built on management theories found in the literature to identify the problems and suggest solutions. The interview process is done collab- oratively and iteratively to ensure the rigour and trustworthiness of the study. The research found that there is no centralized asset management system suitable for software purchasing currently exists in Thales Huizen nor does exist in their industry peers. The chal- lenges are also the lack of synchronization across departments and across legacy system as well as there is a lack of accountability alongside with lack of a formal enforcement mechanism. These challenges pose a high operational risk and could lead to failure of software licensing compliance, resulting in an increase in operational cost and audit fines for non-compliance Thus, a solution is proposed to create a SAM-centred software procurement (business) process in BPM. By utilizing the knowledge from interviews, industry insights and problem solving, a process is built that lays out a structured way for software to be procured. The outcome is a workable process that simplifies software procurement with clear software specific documents to fill in, to collect the data necessary to know precisely which software is sourced for which purpose and lays the data foundations for successful software asset management. New introductions have been the COTS-Board, which is a group of software experts that oversee the software risks and help negotiate with the software resellers. Another new addition is the role of the software asset manager who is responsible for collecting the license specific data, and managing the software assets while executing accountability throughout the firm as the managers have to comply with supplying the required information. The research further on ex- plores different possibilities for software that needs to be procured and/or managed. And lays out further positive possibilities (such as license-bundling, optimizing) for an integrative soft- ware asset management system. What this research based heavily on is the utilization of existing infrastructure or processes to lower the eventual increased effort on the employees. There is a limited amount of change em- ployees are willing to go through, and minimizing the actual change for them is crucial to min- imize resistance.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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