Ask any CIO what is one of the least enjoyable aspects of their job is and they will likely tell you it is being audited by a software vendor. Software vendors routinely check in on their licensees to see if customers have:
– more users than are authorized on the software
– have moved the applications to more powerful computers or servers
The net result of many software audits is an invoice. Customers will likely end up paying more money to the vendor because of their noncompliant state. Trying to collect more money from software customers is an age-old challenge for vendors. Check out this 1976 demand letter from Bill Gates to hobbyists before he founded Microsoft. Looking back with the benefit of close to 40 years’ hindsight, it has to count as one of the more amusing episodes in software history, but one larded with prescient statements about how money is made in software.
On balance, most software customers do not intentionally try to evade the payment for license infractions. Sometimes, well-meaning IT people may temporarily move an application off of a single core server to a quad core server as part of a testing, load balancing, or other initiative.