Don't be afraid of SAM — Part 2
Over the last years globally acting software vendors initiated license validations and license audits at many companies. This may have been caused by shrinking sales figures, saturated markets, unlicensed software and dubiously shared license keys. Today, every IT department could be asked: Would your organization bear up aginst a license audit?
Normally, companies are asked to self-disclose so-called license plausibility reports. Microsoft for example asks to complete and return their deployment summary table in Excel format. Those who ignore the request of the manufacturer, is subject to a formal contact from Microsoft.
A license revision performs a reconciliation of the existing licenses and the actual usage of the installed applications. However, the gathering of information to fill out the table is not a trivial task. Tools such as LOGINventory help keeping the efforts of proper documentation and monitoring low from the start . LOGINventory wins most of the information required for the deployment summary .
But a professional license management is still not just a simple database application. Underlying is rather an economic-technical mission for optimization with a strong influence on the organization's legal certainty and financial condition. It does not only regulate license purchases and compliance with legal requirements, but streamlines procurement and maintenance processes.
Get legal certainty
Thus, the subject of software audit is increasingly important for compliance reasons, meaning in accordance with applicable regulations, standards and rules. If e.g. a copyright infringement can be proved in your company, it is – contrary to public opinion – not in every case only the CEO who is legally liable. Judicial and economical cosequences may also come down to the compliance officer, who is fully in charge as soon as the task "license management" is delegated to this person. The compliance officer is obliged to prevent license violations from the company.
Why organizations are not compliant with the regulations may have different reasons according to the BSA:
- Unlimited Internet access allows employees to install and use unlicensed software;
- There are no clearly defined guidelines that prevent the use of unlicensed software, e.g. when software is copied several times and installed;
- Software was purchased through unauthorized channels or brought from home on portable storage media (CD, DVD, USB stick);
- Acquisitions took place, and it was neither cleared what software licenses changed hands nor if the software had been properly licensed at all;
- Installed software on discarded or reserve computers (hardware storage) was simply forgotten to count;
- A software management program is not implemented and the network is scanned only here and then.
The next Part 3 describes why you should make your license management a permanently implemented process.