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Software Licensing Audit on Network

Dmitriy Stepanov
 


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What is a software licensing audit? Why it is so important to audit the software licenses on every computer in a company? Answers are rather simple. Software is necessary for the company’s successful operation. Moreover, it is protected by the Copyright Law. Using unlicensed software is against the law and unacceptable for a company of any size. Every IT manager and system administrator has to know, that installing cracked programs leads to serious fines and punishments. To avoid the unpleasant consequences, they should be aware of what software is used in the company.

Of course, this is the system administrator who is responsible for the license audit, as he is responsible for any problem connected with IT and networks. Come to think of it, it looks like a war between employees and system administrators. The software inventory is the main administrator’s “weapon”. Usually, despite of all prohibits and orders, employees continue installing the doubtful third-party programs. That is why the license audit should be performed constantly and special programs have to record all the software installations’ cases.

Surely, you can save money and time on the license audit, and reduce the accounts’ rights by prohibiting the installation of any software. But this measure has sense in small networks only. For large ones with dozens and hundreds computers, this measure is useless as the system administrator does not have time to look after all the company’s computers and employees. Also, you can perform the license inventory and audit manually. And again, if there are dozens PCs on the network, this process can take a lot of time. Besides, it can happen that by the moment you had checked the last PC and deleted all the unnecessary programs, they had appeared again on the first one. The software license audit helps to discover other occasions, for instance, when, vice versa, the installed software is necessary for employees’ successful operation and increases his productivity. In this case, the system administrator has to decide, whether this software is essential and, perhaps, the company should purchase it.

Thus, it is useless to prohibit the software installation at all as well as to perform the software audit manually. In this case, there is the only one way out – use special automated license auditing software. Such programs allow the system administrator to systemize all the software installed on the network; to trace the program updates, and to be ready to generate reports for company’s manager at any moment. In addition, you will be able to view the licenses’ periods of validity, which will allow planning the software expenses more accurately.

But the license audit is not only the list of software installed. Every point in this list has to be confirmed with purchasing documents, which give you the right to install and use the programs. Performing the inventory process, the system administrator has to systemize all the documents (the accountant department can help with this issue), and should be ready to provide managers with them at call. Of course, this information has to be always relevant, in order to avoid mistakes and misunderstanding.

Thus, the automated software licensing audit process makes the work of any system administrator easier, and protects the company from possible troubles connected with Copyright Law breaking.

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