Software Audits – Not as Simple as You Think
Defining a software audit is not that simple. These audits may be conducted in many ways and third parties might be involved. For most people, the notion of a so-called ‘audit’ will carry a negative connotation. Whoever demands it apparently doesn’t trust the licensee to be compliant with the terms of their agreement. To mitigate the message, software companies often talk of ‘self-assessment’ or ‘periodic review’
No matter what the process is called or who performs the investigation, software licensing audits must be taken very seriously as unfavorable can result in huge financial and legal penalties. Most enterprise software license agreements detail the manner in which products may be used and also the licensor rights to audit.
When your organization faces an audit, either you or a third party will perform an inventory of all installed software and devices – regardless of whether they are being used of not. Results will then be compared to your license entitlements. In case of discrepancy you will be required to purchase additional licenses for the unlicensed devices or users, often at full list price.
Failure to license all devices and users may not be intentional but that does not absolve your organization. Many companies that don’t conduct proactive Software Asset Management end up in a nasty situation when audited.
Software publishers like Microsoft® and Oracle® typically audit each enterprise customer once every three years, at least. Therefore the question is not whether you will be audited but rather, how well you will be prepared when your audit time has come!
If you are in need of specialist knowledge, a structured license administration and a software license management approach, feel free to contact B-lay. We will help you make software compliance an exciting opportunity to improve your business!