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Tips to get ready for (or possibly avoid) software audits

Rich Hein | Feb. 11, 2014
Software compliance is a complex and interpretative process that if not done correctly and with forethought can cost organisations millions. Follow these guidelines to ensure the best possible outcome.

Improve existing or set up new procurement processes to ensure the license metrics and pertinent terms (i.e. Product Use Rights) in the licenses and contracts are recorded.

"AgentHealth or AgentPenetration is an important metric to monitor. It gauges your discovery system penetration throughout your network. Make sure the right people are monitoring this metric.

Creating a workflow process in which new tools and software can be requested and then vetted for use is necessary so that business objectives can move forward. Telling people they can't have necessary tools isn't an option. That said you must ensure that all software purchases are properly reported, gathered across the organization, and tracked over time as licenses change hands between business units within the corporation.

Have established processes for lifecycle management of software and hardware systems. "Organizations do not always track and communicate the status of action items that need to be completed to be in compliance and ensure these are being completed, "says McCabe.

"Anyone who is granted administrator rights should be well vetted and required to accept a higher level of responsibility. They should have explicit training on software licensing and compliance," says Houghton.

Make sure the data collected is uniform so that disparate systems will have an easier time interacting and your data will be more accurate. For example, if one system records Microsoft Word 2010 and another has MS Word balancing your licenses will be more challenging.


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