Office of the CIO

Office of the CIO and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services)
Office of the CIO and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services)

Enterprise Software License Management (SLM) at Queen’s University

Enterprise software is that which is selected, procured, managed and funded at a university-wide level because of its overall benefit to the institution. Strategic SLM for enterprise software has never been formally addressed at Queen’s University, and the need exists for the development of a model to facilitate the procurement of, and access to software required for teaching, learning, research and administration. In addition, a governance model should be put in place to address the life cycles of software license agreements necessary to achieve continuity in these areas.

The Software Licensing Task Group (SLTG) was formed with the mandate to identify and recommend a strategic direction or model for the identification, funding, licensing, and distribution of enterprise software where there exists the ability to realize cost savings, and to provide the essential tools needed for teaching, research or administration at Queen’s University. In addition, the SLTG was asked to recommend policies, procedures and funding approaches which will achieve greater consistency, lower costs and improve the current software licensing practices at Queen’s University.

Scope

A cross section of the university was involved in the development of this report to ensure that the recommendation addresses the following challenges:

  • Categorization & Prioritization
  • Funding Strategies
  • Distribution or Provisioning of Access
  • Relevance and Alignment with Software Needs
  • Compliance with and Preservation of License Agreements

The SLTG consisted of staff and faculty from across university, representing various roles and stakeholder groups:

  • Bo Wandschneider – Associate Vice Principal and Chief Information Officer (Sponsor)
  • Keith McWhirter – Associate Director - ITS (Chair)
  • Paul Treitz – Professor - Faculty of Arts & Science
  • Brian McDonald – Associate Director - ITS
  • Brian Coughtrey – Manager - ITS
  • Michael Vandenberg – Associate University Librarian
  • Patrick Legresley - Associate Director, Finance - The Stephen J.R Smith School of Business
  • Bob Burge – Director, Student and Support Services - Faculty of Education
  • James McLellan - Professor and Department Head - Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Karina McInnis – Executive Director - University Research Services

Recommendation

There exist software licenses at the university that are key to supporting teaching, learning, research and administration at an enterprise level. It is in the best interest of the university to procure, manage and distribute such titles centrally to reduce administrative costs of management and distribution, and to reduce cost through volume purchasing. It was the recommendation of the SLTG that Information Technology Services (ITS) procure and manage enterprise wide software agreements and distribute via electronic download. Funding for enterprise software needs to be made available from the University Fund and added to an earmarked software account within the ITS budget. Software titles not deemed to meet the required criteria would be funded and managed by the faculty, school or department requiring its use. This process will need a governance structure to oversee the review and selection of software titles, and the business cases for their funding.

The software licenses that are currently planned to to be funded and distributed for enterprise use are:

  • ArcGIS - Geographic Information System (GIS) system for the management, analysis, and display of geographic information
  • ​Maple - Mathematical and analytical software providing a symbolic and numeric computing environment
  • MatLab - High-performance language for technical computing.
  • SASStatistical Analysis System (SAS) is a software suite developed by SAS Institute for advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. 
  • SPSSStatistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is one of the most popular statistical packages which can perform highly complex data manipulation and analysis with simple instruction.

​These titles will be available for download form the Software Centre in the MyQueen'sU portal.

A Software Licensing Review Committee (SLRC) will need to be established, and have representation from faculties, schools, departments, and student groups. This oversight body, like the SLTG, will need to possess both the insight into the needs of their respective areas, and the ability to look at SLM from the enterprise perspective to ensure the offerings are well suited to the needs of the entire university.

Download the full Software Licensing Report