According to Database Trends and Applications, the past year has seen a drastically increasing amount of software license audits. The reasons are many, among which are the impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, contributing towards uncertainty in the market and a “strategic auditing” approach by thirsty software vendors, who are looking out for alternative revenue generation avenues.
The audit process is daunting for many organisations and can often become a source of nightmares for the IT executives, especially those who are exploring used-software possibilities in an attempt to reduce costs and support a sustainable software environment, often as part of a company’s sustainability policy.
As far as pre-owned software is concerned, the process of acquiring it is completely legal and common practice within the EU, UK and Switzerland, providing that the seller has an unlimited right of used. To name a few, companies in the private sector, an increasing number of authorities and public sector institutions, like hospitals are taking advantage of the benefits of software recycling: usually pre-owned software is somewhat older, fully developed, hence far more reliable than the latest versions. It also appeals to organisations that are careful with data storage in the cloud for compliance reasons.
So, when it comes to audits, it is just like in chess – careful preparation and strategy are key.
Businesses need to produce complete documentation for acquired licenses; a full record of the licence transfers, including invoices; as well as a deletion confirmation by previous owners.