Preparation Simplifies Software Audits - Slide 3

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Properly document purchases

Understand what software titles and versions you actually own, and in what quantities -- and gather the documentation to prove it. This should involve a financial paper trail with evidence of payment for original purchase, upgrades and software assurance contracts. Without the financial receipt, you will be unable to prove ownership to an auditor. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this process. You have the data, but it may be buried in your financial system or combined with other purchases or agreements in a form better served for cost accounting than software license management. You need to spend the time, effort and pain to dig that data out - or simply pay the costs of purchasing the software again.

ParkinSoftware audits are a fact of life for the modern enterprise. While nothing can stop a vendor from auditing, IT managers should prepare for the possibility of an audit by shifting from a defensive to a negotiating posture.

While some audits are random, the majority are triggered by a credible report of violation. In such instances, auditors often begin the audit process with a bad taste in their mouth, as they are already suspicious of the licensee’s reporting practices.

There are only two reasons businesses fear an audit:

  1. They are in violation and they know it.
  2. They are unsure if they have committed a violation or not. 

If a company is in violation and knows it, there is nothing to be done except to brace for the consequences and prepare to write a potentially sizable check. However, if you are unsure whether you have violated software license agreements, several steps involving research, program setup and simple discipline can help ensure data is fresh and accurate.

Click through to find out how to be fully prepared should a software vendor initiate an audit. And be sure to read this guest opinion from LANDesk’s Scott Parkin, which outlines in detail the steps that must be taken. As Parkin writes, “If you proactively implement and maintain these basic processes, you will be able to drive software purchases and maintenance agreements based on justifiable fact, not supposition--and you will have the key facts at hand needed to demonstrate compliance to an auditor.”


Related Topics : Vulnerabilities and Patches, Resellers, Broadcom, Broadband Services, Supercomputing

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