The word “audit” strikes fear into the heart of every IT and software asset manager.
After all, audits can be very disruptive — and very expensive. But the reality is that vendor-imposed, revenue-motivated audits are increasing for organizations of all sizes and industries. In a recent study, Gartner, Inc., found that organizations had a 68 percent chance of being audited by at least one software vendor.
Since software audits are inevitable, you need to be proactive. Don’t wait for vendors to contact you; instead, take charge of your organization’s software license management now and avoid both the disruptions and the costs. It’s true you might uncover a few ugly truths, but those are better dealt with outside of the scrutiny of a vendor audit. Moreover, our experience shows that you’ll also discover opportunities to drive down costs, improve application currency and availability, and enhance security.
Here are five steps that will help you manage your software assets and ensure you are in compliance:
- Have a detailed software inventory — The first step in IT inventory management is to make sure you know exactly what’s in your environment, including what’s on your Windows, Mac, Linux and UNIX systems and all your various devices, including mobile devices. Note that this is not a one-time task; you need to keep the inventory always up to date.
- Implement usage metering — To ensure compliance while controlling costs, you need to understand which applications are actually being used and which can be retired or reallocated. Studies routinely show that a significant portion of software in organizations is unused. Find out how much you can save as you improve your compliance posture.
- Increase application management and control — Being able to easily deploy, patch and update applications and block unwanted applications from running will improve not only compliance but also security, performance and availability.
- Automate software management tasks — By eliminating manual processes, you can reduce IT workload while ensuring accurate and timely software deployment and updates.
- Enable centralized control — With so many applications in so many locations, including mobile and cloud, you need to be able to manage your entire application environment — regardless of application type or device — from a single web-based console.
In short, being proactive with IT asset management (ITAM) can pay off handsomely: it will help you sail through the vendor audits that are almost certainly coming your way this year while also reducing costs and improving productivity and security. To learn more, check out the latest chapter in our e-book, “Technology Tunnel Vision, Part 1: Whey endpoint management without network security is putting your organization at risk."