A Business Case for Spending Your Year-End Budget 

Wednesday, 6 December, 2023

As the year draws to a close, many organizations are faced with the critical decision of how to allocate their remaining budget. In an economic climate rife with the potential of a looming recession, the pressure to make strategic, cost-effective investments is more intense than ever. This is particularly true for IT departments, which are often under the microscope when it comes to budget scrutiny.

The “Spend It or Lose It” Policy

Many organizations operate under a “spend it or lose it” budget policy. This approach, while intended to encourage prudent fiscal planning, can sometimes lead to rushed or ill-considered spending decisions as the fiscal year ends. Further this can result in reduced future budgets. Often, failure to fully utilize the allocated budget can lead to smaller budgets in subsequent years, as it may be perceived that the department can operate with less. The challenge for IT leaders is to navigate this policy wisely, ensuring that any expenditure not only utilizes the current budget effectively but also sets the stage for financial efficiency in the coming year. 

Recession Implications

While experts have yet to confirm we are or will be in a recession in 2024, what is clear is that growth has slowed.  When profit falls flat many companies tighten the reigns cutting financial and human capital as Disney, Amazon, Microsoft and Google have all had mass layoffs in 2023In a climate where financial prudence is paramountexploring strategic IT efficiencies becomes as crucial as ever. 

Investing in SAM

Choosing to allocate your year-end budget to SAM might seem like a less glamorous option compared to investing in new technologies or initiatives. However, this decision can make IT leaders the unsung heroes of their organizations. By making a small investment in managing compliance and optimization, you can have a big impact on the organization’s bottom line. This is especially important in a time when budgets are tight and every expenditure is scrutinized. This is not just about avoiding the costs associated with non-compliance; it’s also about optimizing software spend, ensuring that you’re only paying for what you need and use.

Compliance and Optimization Review (COR) from LicenseFortress involves assessing the current state of software usage, ensuring compliance with licensing agreements, and identifying opportunities for cost optimization. In an era where software licensing, particularly with vendors like Oracle, can be both complex and costly, ensuring compliance is more crucial than ever. Licensing violations can lead to substantial financial penalties, not to mention the administrative and reputational costs associated with non-compliance. The rationale for investing in a Compliance and Optimization Review is rooted in both risk mitigation and cost optimization.

Related: How Much Does an Oracle Violation Cost?

Return on SAM Investment

A standard COR typically costs roughly $50,000. While this may seem like a significant outlay, especially in a climate bracing for a recession, the return on this investment is compelling. On average, this review can save organizations about $3.2 million in outstanding compliance issues and optimization opportunities.  

Let’s lay the financials out.

The Return on Investment (ROI) can be calculated using the formula:

ROI = (Net Return on Investment – Cost of the Service) / Cost of the Service

In this scenario:

  • The Net Return on Investment is the savings minus the cost of the service, which is $3,200,000 – $50,000.
  • The Cost of Investment is $50,000.

Let’s calculate it:

  • Net Return on Investment = $3,200,000 – $50,000 = $3,150,000
  • ROI = $3,150,000 / $50,000
  • ROI = 63 * 100
  • ROI = 6300%

So, the ROI on a service that costs $50,000 and saves $3.2 million is 6300%. This indicates a highly profitable investment, where for every dollar spent, the return is $63.

Other Benefits of a SAM Investment

Avoiding the Headache of Audits

Another significant benefit of a robust SAM program is the avoidance of the disruptive and often stressful process of software audits. These audits can be time-consuming and can divert resources from other critical IT functions. By ensuring compliance through SAM, organizations can avoid these audits, allowing IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Time and Resource Savings

Beyond direct financial savings, investing in a professional SAM review offers significant time and resource efficiencies. Conducting such a review internally requires substantial effort, expertise, and time – resources that are often in short supply. By outsourcing this task, organizations free up their IT staff to focus on core business activities, driving greater productivity and innovation.

The Professional Edge

The complexity of software licensing agreements and the dynamic nature of IT environments make SAM a challenging task. It requires not just technical know-how but also legal expertise to navigate the intricacies of licensing terms and conditions. Professional SAM providers bring a level of expertise and experience that is difficult to match internally. This expertise is crucial not just for current compliance but also for ensuring that the organization’s software asset management strategy is aligned with future needs and trends.


In conclusion, as IT departments consider how to allocate their year-end budgets, a Compliance and Optimization Review presents a compelling case. With an average cost of $50,000 and potential savings of around $3.2 million, the return on investment is clear. Moreover, the time and resource efficiencies, coupled with the expertise brought by professional SAM services, make this investment a strategic move for organizations looking to navigate the challenges of a recession-prone economy. By choosing to invest in SAM, IT leaders cannot only ensure compliance and optimize costs but also demonstrate fiscal responsibility and strategic foresight – qualities that are invaluable in these uncertain times.

Set up a meeting to see how we can best utilize your left over 2023 budget.