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Software Licensing Audits: Is Your Company Prepared?

Software licensing audits appear to be obnoxious leeches that consequently drain a company’s funds. So what are the future trends of these parasites and how will they inevitably impact an organization? In an article for InformationWeek, Lisa Morgan elaborates on what can be expected from these practices.

An Uphill Battle

Too often, an organization does not budget for these audits and consequently take a major hit that deters their strategic plan. These costs come from the settlements made outside of court, and the hours that employees are pulled from their regular work in order to handle this problem. So what can organizations do to take a more proactive approach and help prevent complete derailment?

A company can reduce their risk of a poor audit by better analyzing the language of the contract. Be sure to read the terms carefully to avoid any infringement, even if it is unintentional. Be very mindful and aware of the scope of the license, for example: how many users or computers does it cover? There may also be written into the contract specific renewal terms or even the company’s right to audit. These can trip up an organization and cause for major unpleasantries. Look for any explicit language about penalties in regards to how a discrepancy is handled.

What exactly brings about an audit? Most basically, software misuse may cause a problem. An irate employee may have taken their claim to BSA, The Software Alliance in the meager hope of acquiring a portion of the settlement. There may also be activations on certain customer sites that throw up a red flag and warrant an audit.

When it comes to a license agreement being violated, the costs can be high, maybe even approaching six figures. If the problem is not taken to court, the organization at the very least has to pay “true up,” or: any licensing fees owed for the software’s overuse.

All hope is not lost and an audit can be prevented, or reduced in likelihood. Simply understand and properly manage the licenses the organization possesses. If there is any doubt or misunderstanding about the language in the agreement, a lawyer will clearly help the situation. Having policies in place will also help to prevent such terribleness.

You can read the original article here: http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/software-licensing-audits-is-your-company-prepared/d/d-id/1323693

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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