We wish you a Merry Audit and a Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to You and your company! But before that, perhaps, Happy Software Audit!
For a number of independent software vendors the approaching December 31 marks the fiscal year end, when they seek to grab every last penny of revenue. One of the ways to get there is to audit the customers. So for some “lucky” companies the final weeks of the year become a stressful time of making sure that the software they use is licensed properly.
Major software vendors like Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Autodesk, VMWare, Citrix, and others regularly audit their customers. A license audit is a troublesome and inconvenient process for the organization targeted: it takes time, it distracts from business critical tasks, it involves unbudgeted costs, and can result in excess license charges and fines if non-compliance is revealed.
Tracking software being used versus software licensed may be a simple task for a small business. It is not so straightforward though, when it comes to a medium-sized organization or a large enterprise. Things also get more complicated with desktop and server virtualization, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon and adopting the cloud.
To be able to control software assets, organizations need to invest in SAM tools, which automate software inventory and license management processes. SAM software allows administrators to achieve visibility into company’s IT assets and continuously control them to ensure license agreement compliance.
Complete visibility of applications and services
The first step of software management is full assets discovery. SAM tools automatically identify and match software installed with licenses held. This feature is vital when preparing for a license audit.
SAM tools also enable software usage tracking to report how often an application is used, when it was last accessed, and by whom. This allows companies to identify redundant or unused applications and bring down the number of licenses required.
Continuous control of licenses
The second step of software management is assessing how applications and services are licensed. Software License Management (SLM) capability ensures continuous monitoring of applications and SaaS and enables to reduce or increase the number of purchased licenses timely to avoid over-licensed and under-licensed situations.
Implementing SAM tools helps businesses stay compliant, which ultimately drives Software License Optimization (SLO). When this process is consistent, organizations get maximum value from their IT investments and reduce costs.
Basically, software audits are all about generating additional license revenue. Many large and medium-sized organizations struggle to get a handle on their software assets and application licensing. So today, it is no longer a question of whether they will be audited, but rather when it happens. To make sure that your company successfully completes a license audit it is important to have the right tools in place. SAM software is a “must have” for organizations seeking to control the assets they have and identify the assets they need from both operational and compliance viewpoint. These tools automate the process of software and services discovery (including discovery of shadow IT) and ensure on-going license compliance.