This article is about the license audit process in organizations of any size. It does not matter how many computers are there in your office or in the entire company – 5 or 500. Software plays a very important role in the whole organization’s work, and it demands the careful attention as well as hardware.
Besides, using the unlicensed or cracked software is against the low. We will not bring up the topic about, who is responsible for using unlicensed software in the organization: employer, IT manager, or employee – that’s a separate theme. However, it is the system administrator, who has to be aware of what software is used in the company. This process includes constant audit and monitoring of all the software that is installed and used by users, programs’ license audit, software updating, etc. Of course, the IT manager could forbid users to install programs on their computers, but unfortunately, it is not always possible. In addition, it is impossible to look after even dozens of employees, say nothing of thousands of them.
So, how to sort out the mess in your company software, how to provide the constant software licenses audit, and keep programs’ installation within certain borders?
Firstly, it is necessary to inventory all the software that is installed on your entire network. As a result, you should get a summary table of all the programs, which are installed on each personal computer, and the information about them: when and where they were installed. Also, if the PC is used by a few people, it is preferably to know who installed this software. In addition, there should be a license column in this table. For the programs that have certain licenses, the system administrator always has to have purchasing documents, certificates, boxes, license agreements, and receipts at hand.
Secondly, what IT manager should do if he discovers commercial programs that do not have the licenses? According to the software audit policy, such programs have to be deleted immediately if they are not needed for employees’ normal operation. But if the software is necessary for carrying on the employees’ duties, the organization manager has to come to a decision about its purchase as fast as possible. A delay may have the grave consequences.
But it would be the greatest mistake to think, that after performing the software inventory and “cleaning” the entire local network from unlicensed programs, the license audit is finished and the system administrator may forget about this process. Sometimes, users behave just like pupils who really think that teacher cannot see what is going on at the distant part of the classroom. There is no any guarantee that after checks and “cleanups” of unlicensed software, users will never install the new programs again. Constant software and license audit will help the system administrator to prevent such actions. If you know about the violation, you will be able to eliminate it. That is why it is necessary to be always informed about what software is installed on your network.
So the main question is: what the constant license audit is for?
1. The license audit allows the system administrator to support the company’s software in the proper condition. What for? Always keep in mind the Copyright Law.
2. The license and software audit process helps to save the company’s funds. I suppose, everyone happened to be in a situation, when purchasing the same program that had been already bought earlier, but it was lost somewhere.
3. The license audit helps to plan future expenses on software.
It is impossible to specify the importance of this process in three items. But these must be enough to understand, how the constant license audit could make a system administrator’s life easier, and perhaps protect a company from troubles.