Software License Audits – Are You a Likely Target?
Confusion and concern regarding software license audits rank high among the uncertainties experienced by larger organizations and multinationals. Concern is a valid state of mind as audits are a legal right your organization agreed to when buying a license, and the consequences of non-compliance can be very high. It’s important to treat any request for a self-assessment or other audit demand seriously as the requesting company is not likely to step back if you ignore them.
Confusion however may be somewhat of an overreaction. Receiving an audit notification doesn’t necessarily mean you are suspected of being out of compliance. Microsoft for instance tries to audit each of their Volume Licensing customers at least once every three years. Their software audit notification may simply mean that your time has come.
But there are other reasons or scenarios that caused your company being singled out. If, for example, you appear to be under-reporting usage or you have been part of a widely publicized merger or acquisition process, this may have triggered the licensor to investigate the new situation.
Another concerning scenario is Business Software Alliance (BSA) involvement. The BSA is a global organization of software publishers, focused on compliance and the legal use of software. The Alliance rewards individuals who report piracy or illegal software usage. Think of a disgruntled ex-employee or current employee who seriously doubts your company’s software license compliance status.
Any organization audited in the past that was found widely non-compliant will also be more closely under scrutiny than others.
Regardless of the reason a software license audit is initiated, it is strongly recommended to be prepared before your organization receives notification. Any audit, whether a self-assessment or performed by a third party, can be very resource consuming and disruptive to your daily business operations. Since these audits are likely to happen at some point in time, at least you should have a well-kept license entitlement administration.
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!