All companies using software can receive an audit from their vendor and should be ready when the audit is around the corner. Or preferably be ready and in control at all times as to stay compliant with the regulations stated in the agreement. Non compliance can be a very costly and time consuming experience which should be avoided by taking measures and being prepared.
Stay out of trouble
Keep in mind the following aspects to stay out of trouble:
- Have a strong Software Asset Management system in place
- Make software licensing important throughout all departments in the organization and a key point within change management
- Have a clear overview of the software used and the people/departments using them from the moment the software is bought
- Build on automated solutions instead of trusting on spreadsheets
- Make sure not to be over licensed – this happens more often than you think because organizations would rather be safe than sorry
- Take in mind how any IT actions will affect your software licenses
How to get ready for an audit
If you do receive the dreaded audit letter on your desk, take into account the following steps to make the process go as fluid as possible:
- The scope of the audit depends on which vendor you have. Oracle audits for example are known to be quite aggressive. Reach out to your vendor to get the correct information.
- In order to be aware of any flaws it is advisable to conduct a thorough internal audit.
- Provide clean and clear communication between your team and the vendor. It is also nice to be able to review findings before the settlement.
- Let your organization know exactly what is expected of them and make sure the team understand the audit rights by reviewing the provider agreement.
- Be proactive during the audit and keep a positive mindset. It is important not to be passive, sit by and just accept the audit term, process and outcome. If it comes to it, admit your faults and pay your price.
But if you have properly prepared, chances are you will go through the audit smoothly. If you don’t have enough knowledge or expertise on how to prepare you can always ask for help. There are a number of license management companies who know exactly how vendors go about their audits. They can help you get calm before the storm and hopefully make sure you are compliant at all times. If you have not started yet? Better late than never! Today is a perfect day to start.