Software audits have been a hot topic in the news for years. The anticipation of a software audit can be very stressful and overwhelming for some organizations. According to a Gartner study undertaken over a six-year period, 68 percent of organizations receive at least one audit letter each year.
On top of this, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reports that damages for non-compliant software use can rise to $150,000 for each product infringement. According to BSA, an alarming 37 percent of software installed is unlicensed.
But, there is also the security concern that unlicensed and unmanaged software brings to your environment.
BSA, in partnership with IDC, conducted a Global Software Management Survey which revealed that 54 percent of CIOs around the world cited cybersecurity risks as the number one reason to avoid unlicensed software, with the risk of legal issues being second. Furthermore, 46 percent cited loss of corporate/personal data as their top concern regarding malware effects from unlicensed software. As a result, the number of CIOs who have a formal written policy about the use of licensed software has jumped from 41 percent in 2015 to 54 percent this year.
So what are the key challenges that companies face and why is it so difficult to remain compliant?
Many organizations still don’t have a robust software license management process in place, and some have none at all. Many organizations track software and licenses through a mix of spreadsheets, reports from purchasing systems and other disparate systems. Trying to manage software this way leads to a reactive approach when software publishers request an audit.
Staying compliant is a huge challenge for any organization. Software contracts are becoming more complex and terms and conditions are constantly changing. In today’s hybrid and multi-cloud environments with the mix of on-premises, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, keeping on top of license usage and entitlement can be difficult to control and manage.
How SoftwareONE and PyraCloud can help
Making use of technology is a key step towards audit defense.
SoftwareONE PyraCloud enables organizations to capture entitlement information at the point of purchase, or the raw proof of data can be uploaded and normalized with the TrakIT Service. Once all of the entitlement information is captured in PyraCloud, the platform can be integrated with Software Asset Management (SAM) tools to gain full visibility into Entitlement, Inventory and Consumption (EIC).
You are taking a proactive approach to audits by having a view into EIC. You can right size your software licensing based on what EIC is telling you. EIC is a leading indicator of what you own, what is installed and how well it is being utilized. Based on the leading indicators, you can mitigate the risk of an audit and at the same time save costs associated with an audit. For more information on how EIC can help your organization, take a look at Software Lifecycle Management at its Best with EIC.
SoftwareONE also has a SAMSimple managed service offering which provides continuous visibility and control of your software assets. This will help to optimize software licensing spend and mitigate against publisher audit risk.
The bottom line
Having a robust Software Lifecycle Management process in place helps organizations to eliminate shelf ware and reduces compliance risk. Having visibility into your software entitlements, inventory and consumption will help an organization keep track of what they own and use so they mitigate the risk of non-compliance and are better prepared for audits.
Do you feel prepared for a software audit? Let us know in the comments section below.