As President Obama announced Monday that he was looking to government agencies to cut a collective $100 million from their annual budgets, the Department of Homeland Security was already two steps ahead, staring in the face of $47 million annual savings in software licensing from one company alone.
Late last month, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the DHS Efficiency Review, a program intended to find ways to "improve efficiency and streamline decision making" across the agency in a number of places, including information technology.
As part of that initiative, within the next 60 days, the agency intends to move to consolidate software licensing.
"Right now, our components purchase computer software and negotiate contracts independently," Napolitano said during a press conference last month. "[It] makes no sense."
Simply by buying volume licenses as an agency instead of as several separate subagencies, Homeland Security expects to save about $47 million annually, or $283 million over six years, from just one vendor. In doing so, the department will join a plethora of organizations looking for cost savings on software during the economic downturn.
Though Homeland Security isn't saying from which company it expects to see the savings, one source said the company was Microsoft. Last year, Microsoft introduced a new tier of licensing, Select Plus, aimed partially at large decentralized organizations, and the company is currently offering significant volume discounts.
Software licensing isn't the only place Homeland Security is looking to save on tech. This month, the agency is busy getting rid of as many printed reports as possible in favor of sending them out electronically or posting them online, and cutting back travel in favor of teleconferences and Web meetings. The agency thinks it can save $10 million over five years in volume discounts on printers, and that it will get additional savings from buying multifunction copy, scan, fax, and print devices.
InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on government IT priorities. Download the report here (registration required).