As the chatter of audits increases around the industry
the range of reaction can be outright fear to mild anxiety,
but ... sometimes - enthusiasm!
What I hear you say - Enthusiasm??
Well yes surprisingly - for those organisations who run a well informed and skilled software / licensing function - it offers the prospect of evaluating just how effective their investment in processes and tools has been, and make any adjustments as/if necessary. Similarly, it provides an opportunity for objective feedback to management in a discipline that is otherwise difficult to gauge - just think - how can you quantify ROI without having a relative measure to report against?
The contrary position - where organisations have no certainty at all of their compliance state - is not a great place to be and certainly does warrant some anxiety. Not only is there the likelihood of remediation (at $$?? cost), but when you don't have a position what can you actually contest? There's no doubt that the 'arms-length' engagement of external auditors allows just that much more vendor independence to put more onus on you the customer - the audit will deliver a straight deployment report, leaving it to you to clarify what might be chargeable, and what might not.
Examples .... development software that might be free, supporting products under one suite that might be dispersed across servers, or even bundles - permitted, but unless qualified by you will still be listed as chargeable installs.
So it's worth considering just where you are on the compliance scale.
Ask yourself these three key questions:
If you do - great! - check that the processes are running as expected and you can take any impending audit on without that gut-wrenching fear and anxiety.
If you're lacking on any front though some attention is warranted. Start with ownership - who will be responsible and held accountable for your software assets? Then, how will you keep a current and complete record across it all?
You'll no doubt arrive at the conclusion you'll need tools to help do it all efficiently and effectively, so the question becomes - which tool is right for you? What features and functions do I really need? What price do I then want to pay for it?
The very questions that led us to develop ComplianceWare - our full featured, cloud-based product designed to meet the needs of organisations who don't want those top-end highly integration reliant, distended suites offered by some more well known global providers. ComplianceWare offers just those essential functions in an easy to use web-based application such as software discovery and deployment reporting, customisation via configurations and conventions, and of course a contracts and license repository.
And by delivering just the essentials we can offer a price to match - that is, the most cost effective solution you will find in the market. Try it as a one-off managed service (perhaps even using that audit data you've just been asked to provide) and evaluate on your own estate, or as a term license have access when and as you need it. Take a look at the Documentation or request a Demonstration to find out more, and then we're always here to help you out as needed!