The software audit market is a growing discipline dictated by software publishers who are seeking to maximise revenues and ensure clients are compliant. As a result, software consumers are looking at software audit defence services to protect themselves. In general, an audit will result in the customer spending more money with the publisher, as most customers will be non-compliant. In particular, publishers tend to focus on the larger and more complex customer-types, as naturally, they prove most profitable. Termed by some as a mere ‘revenue generation exercise’, audits usually form part of a two-to-three year cycle, or are triggered by an IT change, such as a merger or acquisition.
Numerous challenges often present themselves to customers that are facing a software audit, with the key objective being to create an ‘effective licencing position’ (ELP). This often proves a major difficulty, requiring the understanding of one’s inventory and non-digital usage data, as well as one’s entitlement. A further challenge, is that they often lack the resources to face-off against an intrusive and heavyweight publisher such as Microsoft or Adobe. Governing publishers and managing the entire process is a real issue for consumers, exacerbated by the fact they are often in a ‘blind’ position, with little understanding and thus in no position to query the vendors.