Gartner released research recently, which highlighted that 68% of organisations will have their software assets audited in the next 12 months. This has risen from 63% in 2013 and continues the upwards trend of the last few years.
Seen as troublesome by the object company of the audit and seen as a money spinner for the vendor, audits lead to conflict, expense, a draining of resources, negotiation and usually, more expense. Gartner cited the example of one of their customers who estimated that one software audit cost $500,000 in lost time. The cost in overused licences wasn’t given, but only adds to the already significant costs involved in an audit.
Preparation is key to audit success:
* Face reality: so many people like to hide from an audit, especially when it’s yet to be announced, but imminent. Within the next 12 months you will be facing a vendor audit. It’s going to happen/ the time to act is now.
* Discover: what software are you using? Why? Who’s using it? How often? Do you have the right licences? Do you have enough licences? If you don’t know the answer to all or any of these questions then pre-audit is the perfect time to find the answers.
* Cleanse: having clean data is the dream of every company and the opportunity of an audit (and it is an opportunity) provides the perfect time to order one’s data. Clean data will not only benefit the audit process, it benefits every department that utilises company data.
* Catalogue: once you know what you have your software inventory should be catalogued to normalise the data you now have. Future referencing of licences becomes a simple task, rather than a laborious chore and decisions can be reached more easily, with comprehensive information available.
* Confess: when an audit finally arrives and you are well-prepared with a host of clean data and a well-mapped software estate, the knowledge that you are infringing your vendor’s licence terms allows you to negotiate from a position of understanding.
If you don’t know the full extent of your software landscape then a vendor audit could be an expensive process. Preparation is key to an audit and maintenance is key to surviving all future audits. Get it right once and all other audits will seem like a breeze!
If you would rather forego the audit process altogether, then you need expert help. Livingstone Intelligent Software Asset Management have such deep experience, such vast knowledge, and such incredible industry gravitas, we have circumvented the audit process completely as a result of the comprehensive insight we are able to provide to a complete software landscape.
About the Author:
Livingstone provide an end-to-end software asset management solution for organisations looking to gain complete visibility and control over their software licensing spend.
Combining their unique approach, accurate inventory and entitlement data with experienced Software Asset Management (SAM) specialists, they understand their client’s software licensing needs and goals. They arm their specialists with vendor agnostic Livingstone technology to provide real time licensing transparency and control.