The process of ensuring software license compliance involves ensuring that your company is only using the software it is authorized to use. It is important to maintain software license compliance to avoid true-up costs and contract penalties in the case of an external audit. Unfortunately, compliance management is a timely and complex process, and most organizations struggle with how to ensure compliance. Below, we will discuss how your organization can ensure software license compliance.
Understand Contract Terms and Policies
First, you can’t manage what you don’t understand. So, ensuring software license compliance begins with understanding the terms of your software license agreements. If you don’t understand your software contracts you will invariably find yourself out of compliance. Therefore, you should make sure to read through all contracts very carefully and ask for clarification on any complex terms or policies.
Maintain Compliance Policies & Procedures
Another way to ensure software license compliance is to have compliance policies and procedures in place. To start, convert the terms of your contracts into policies. Then, make sure your employees are aware of the compliance requirements and risks. If proper practices are in place, compliance management will become a normal part of the business. Furthermore, be sure to continually check to verify employees are following the policies.
Keep Detailed & Accurate Records of Usage
It is impossible to ensure license compliance without accurate and detailed records of your software licenses. For this reason, it is important to have information about all installed software and the licenses you own. As a result, you will be able to easily identify what is in compliance and what is not. The most efficient way to keep detailed license records is by using a Software Asset Management (SAM) tool.
Conduct Regular Internal Audits
It’s possible to be totally unaware of major license compliance issues. Hence, the best way to ensure software license compliance is to conduct regular internal compliance audits. Conducting internal audits allows you to see where you may have compliance issues. Then, you can implement changes that will bring your organization into compliance.
Bring in a Specialist
Lastly, it is important to make license compliance a priority. Unfortunately, many companies are too busy to define and operationally maintain a compliance strategy. If this is the case, your company may need to bring in outside expertise. Otherwise, you run the risk of a failed software audit, litigation fees, and other contract penalties.
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