Ironically, many companies’ management of their most high-tech software apps is done with folders full of paper. This can lead to problems, particularly if companies choose not to auto-renew software services. Whether you choose to auto-renew or not, however, you can use your IT asset management software to make managing software services much easier and to minimize the chances of violating software licenses.
First, however, here is some advice on choosing to auto-renew versus reviewing / renewing services manually each year.
“Renew manually or auto-renew? Also, if it’s warm enough to push up my sleeves, why am I wearing this huge, wooly scarf?”
What’s The Difference Between Manual and Auto-Renewal?
Many services today, including those you use in your personal life (such as insurance) offer auto-renewal so that you avoid lapses in coverage. With auto-renewal, your service is automatically renewed on a certain date without your having to do anything. It’s a big convenience for those who don’t plan to shop around for services each year.
For those who do compare prices every year, however, auto-renewal can be a hassle. These people would rather look over their options before committing to another year’s service, and so may choose to opt out of auto-renewal.
Auto-Renewal Advantages and Disadvantages
With auto-renewal, you provide your payment and other pertinent information once and the product will be billed again at a fixed date in the future. Generally, you can set up auto-payment to go with auto-renewal to avoid lapses in service. Auto-renewal is convenient, particularly if you’re not good at keeping up with renewal dates.
On the other hand, if you are signed up for auto-renewal but intend to switch providers, you have to be certain to do so before the auto-renew cycle is up, or you could end up paying for services from two providers. Some customers find that after the first year of service, which was often priced at a “teaser” rate, the cost of the service goes up, so beware that you could be surprised by a higher bill the second time around.
Manual Renewal Advantages and Disadvantages
Those who want absolute control over their service contracts may prefer manual renewal. They may want to evaluate the service and make an informed decision as to whether or not to renew. Some people may want to shop around for service providers each year in order to find services at lower prices and avoid being locked into an automatically-renewing subscription (particularly if second year costs are higher).
Manual renewal, however, brings an increased chance for mistakes, and if you don’t either renew a contract or find another provider in time, you could find yourself with a lapse of service that must be taken care of before you can continue business as usual. Manual renewal requires more care and attention than auto-renewal.
Your IT Asset Management Software Can Help with Auto or Manual Renewal
Some IT asset management software brands have IT contract management capabilities that can alert you to upcoming contract expirations. This capability can be very useful whether you have signed up for auto-renewal or not. If your auto-renew contract is coming up, you can be ready for the charge, or if your manually-renewed contract is coming up, you can exercise your options as far as comparing prices and choosing next year’s provider before service lapses.
At Samanage, we offer IT asset management software that can be easily used to manage IT contracts so that you don’t auto-renew without warning, and so that manually-renewed contracts are known in advance and you don’t risk going without a service. Samanage helps you organize software licenses and IT contracts, align IT contracts and software licenses with relevant IT assets, know when contracts are coming up for renewal, and easily keep track of all the vendors with which you do business. You need never experience a service lapse or auto-renew without warning again.