Maintaining a successful ITAM program means being ready to leverage your data if adversarial scenarios arise. When you get that dreaded audit notification, you need to have a cache of irrefutable and inarguable data. Especially if there is upheaval in your organization, such as a merger or acquisition. So, how can you be ready for a software license audit?
As an ITAM consultant and coach, I’ve identified the top three things you must do to be ready for a software license audit. Whether you’re a fledgling start-up or a fully-mature enterprise, these activities are critical.
1. Team - Build Out Your Team.
It’s not just about dedicated hardware and software and software asset managers; you also need to find subject matter experts and knowledge holders from IT Security, Financial, Legal, and Service Management. All of these individuals will be able to tell the ITAM team what kind of hardware is in use, what preferred software they want to use, and other details that will come to play when it comes time for the audit.
2. Playbook - Build Out A Playbook.
Identify what info you’re missing, who has the information you need, and how quickly you can get that into your CMDB or asset MDR. If you’ve got a team in place already, this should be really easy to get your arms around.
3. Data - Build Out Your CMDB Or Asset MDR.
If you don’t have one, get one. How well do you trust the reports coming out of it if you do have one? Can you test it? Are they accurate to what’s going on in the environment? If not, now’s the time to fix it. If you don’t know how to fix it, you need some outside help.
So, let’s say you’ve done all of the above. How do you know you’re really ready for a software license audit? Here are three questions you should ask:
Question 1. Does the team have access to all the data attributes they need to report on a part publishers software position? If not, why not? It could be they haven’t located the source material yet, and that’s easily overcome. It could also be political or organizational challenges requiring a C-Suite champion to step in and push it through.
Question 2. Do you know when a particular audit is likely to occur?
Most publishers’ volume license agreements will tell you when to expect a formal audit. Your VAR (Value-Add Reseller) can tell you if a specific publisher is actively auditing in your geographical area or other customers in your industry.
Question 3. Do you trust your CMBD or Asset MDR reports?
The old Russian proverb, trust but verify, applies here. Test your reports to make sure they give the answers you expect. If not, investigate why. It is better to find the mistake and correct it before an auditor finds it and penalizes you.
Are You Ready For A Software License Audit?
Before finding that next software audit notification in your inbox, make sure you get everything in place. You need to be on top of your data and able to defend your position at a moment’s notice, especially if your organization is in the middle of a merger or acquisition.
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