Prepare To Be (Software) Audited

The difference between the software you have installed and the software you actually have licensed could mean trouble. Tune in to learn how to survive a software audit.

It's not a matter of if, but when your firm will face a software audit. So the real question is, will you be prepared?

More than half (53%) of all North American companies with 500 or more employees have been audited by a software vendor within the past two years, according to the 2013 Software Audit Industry Report. The survey, which is based on interviews with 178 senior IT managers, found that the top-10 list of auditors includes Adobe, Attachmate, Autodesk, IBM, McAfee, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Symantec, and VMware.

[Want more on software audits? Register to attend our How To Survive A Software Audit InformationWeek Radio show.]

Unfortunately, many companies are taken by surprise -- and can even face fines and new fees -- when audits reveal discrepancies between the software that's installed and what's actually licensed. Audits most often take the form of inquiries whereby vendors ask for detailed information to ensure that every copy of installed software is actually licensed. Your contract gives the vendor every right to make that inquiry, and if they're not satisfied with the answer, they can even install systems-monitoring software to verify your reports.

How can you prepare for an audit? Better yet, how can you get one step ahead of audits and turn knowledge of software usage to your advantage? Join InformationWeek Radio on Thursday, June 19, at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT), as Dawson Stoops, co-founder and VP of Express Metrix, discusses "How To Survive A Software Audit." Express Metrix provides software asset-management software, an emerging category that helps companies track what software is installed and what's being used, so companies can track and optimize their software expenditures.

Whether you use asset management software or not, Stoops will offer a wealth of advice on what to expect in an audit and how to avoid the most common pitfalls in the audit process. He'll also discuss how you can avoid the common problem of shelfware -- paying for software that doesn't get used.

Stoops has years of experience with audits, so register for this 30-minute InformationWeek Radio show and plan to be part of the online chat and Q&A session that follows.

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