Software Asset Management
- Do we know exactly what software is installed within our IT infrastructure?
- Do we know whether all installed software is required to meet the needs of the business?
- Do we know if all installed software is legally licensed?
Software Asset Management
There are many reasons why an organisation needs to develop an effective means of software asset management, including;
- Manufacturer Software Audits – All software vendors have varying general audit rights included within their contracts. These require customers to periodically submit information to the software publisher detailing their use of the publisher’s products and technologies;
- Ownership of Software – Uncertainty about what software is actually owned means that investment in software can be lost when people leave or are moved around your company. In cases of company mergers or divestitures, software ownership may need to be transferred to another legal entity, which is very difficult if no software asset management procedures are in place.
- Software Upgrades – Your organisation may have earned the right to use newer versions of software under an annuity contract, but be unaware of the fact, and thereby waste the annuity investment.
- Maintenance Agreements – Your organisation may be unaware of other rights that are received as part of software maintenance payments (for example, if your organisation has Microsoft Office under Software Assurance, did you know that your employees are entitled to install a copy of this software at home*?).
- Volume Licence Agreements – Many organisations purchase under volume license agreements, which come in several flavours, each having its own terms and conditions. Good software asset management ensures that the most cost-effective program is being utilised.
- Educating staff – In many organisations there is a need to educate staff on copying of CD’s and/or software from the Internet and what it can mean in terms of liability to the company and the individual. You may find that this information is best located in a central repository such as an Intranet or in your employee guide.
Bottom line: Computer software is intellectual property, and is protected by copyright law. If you want to use it, you need to purchase a license to do so. If you want to copy it, you must purchase a license to do so.
- Implementing Software Asset management need not be a complex exercise. We can complete the following processes to ensure you are complaint with Microsoft’s terms and conditions:
- Perform a software inventory – We will take a survey of all software installed on your company’s PCs, workstations, servers and other devices, and collect the information in a report.
- Matching Installed Software to License Ownership – We will Identify exactly what software licenses are owned, by comparing the ownership totals to the software inventory from we have completed to identify areas of over or under-licensing.
- Review Policies and Procedures – Once we have identified what you have and where it is, the next step is to review and/or write policies and procedures that your employees can use to ensure proper software asset management. Sample topics may include software acquisition, deployment, use and recovery. We can assist in writing up these policies and procedures.
Stay the Course – The final step is to establish an ongoing plan, we will construct a library for your media licenses and keep your company’s software documentation up-to-date.
The Next Step…
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