MEGABYTE Act – New Federal Software Licensing Requirements

CIOs will be required to implement a comprehensive licensing policy to manage software inventories

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance in June on agencies inefficient use of software licensing as well as what it saw as excessive spending.  Now the White House is involved.  President Obama signed the Making Electronic Government Accountable by Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act (MEGABYTE Act) on July 29, 2016.  It will require agency CIOs to more accurately track their software and applications licenses.  You can review the law itself here.

“The new policy is another step forward in implementing the President’s vision for a modern government, one that leverages private-sector best practices to achieve a Federal Government that is smarter, savvier and more effective in delivering for the American people.”  United States Government CIO, Tony Scott, and CAO, Anne Rung, co-wrote a blog post at whitehouse.gov explaining the reasoning for passing the new law, and what it means for the future.

“Examples of the other work the Enterprise Software Category Team (ESCT) will take on include consolidating software requirements across multiple agencies to begin the process of negotiating two additional government-wide enterprise license agreements by the end of the year, recommending further policy changes, sharing best practices across the government to improve how we buy and use software, and monitoring agency progress toward reducing duplicative agreements.”

Scott and Rung wrote that the government’s ESC Team expects CIOs to solve the problem with experts, not applications.  “It calls on agencies to appoint a software manager to centrally manage software buys and reduce underutilization, to maintain a continual inventory of software licenses and better track usage, to consolidate redundant applications while identifying other savings, and to maximize the use of best-in-class solutions.”

Its not just government agencies that can save on software licensing by making better informed decisions.  Public and private companies with multiple units and divisions can also likely benefit from the same type of software licences central management, leveraging their purchase size to gain better prices and contract terms. “Smarter acquisition strategies typically don’t garner a lot of headlines or attention. But they matter.”

To learn more about how Miro can help your company make better software management decisions and achieve significant savings, please contact us.