As IT environments become increasingly complex, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of IT asset management. Yet, while they begin to diligently take inventory of PCs, servers, printers, peripherals, and other technology systems, there is one type of asset that is often left ignored – software licenses. In fact, according to a report recently published by King Research, 73% of IT managers feel unprepared for a third-party software audit.
While its crucial to track all IT assets throughout their lifecycle, the need to stay on top of software licenses may be even more important, considering the risk of monetary fines and penalties companies face if they are found to have illegal copies of software deployed. Yet, software assets are difficult to track, and companies often struggle to stay on top of what they’ve installed vs. what they’ve purchased – particularly in larger enterprises where hundreds of software applications are in use.
Some experts believe that’s why they neglect to implement formalized software asset management policies, and instead focus their energies on other types of IT assets.
Software Licence Management Is A Critical Part of ITAM
The fact is, software license management must be an integral part of any broad-reaching IT asset management strategy. IT contracts and related software licenses must be tracked and monitored as closely as PCs, servers, and other IT systems. Otherwise, companies are in jeopardy of more than just non-adherence to contracts. They may find themselves overspending on software they simply don’t need. Or, they may be ill-informed during the contract renewal process, and lose a valuable opportunity to obtain a better price from their vendor.
Effective software license management requires the support of an automated software asset management solution that can help IT organizations to:
- Maintain accurate, up-to-date inventory of all software assets, including when they were purchased, what PCs they have been installed on, etc.
- Stay on top of software contract terms and conditions, pending renewals, etc.
- Track changes in software usage as new staff members are brought on board, or as existing employees leave the company or are transferred to new positions and departments.
- Dynamically compare software deployment and usage to contract guidelines, and dynamically alert key stakeholders when compliance gaps exist.