Almost every business uses software in its day-to-day operations. Some may be common applications, like word processors and internet browsers, but specialized, custom, or professional versions of programs are often needed. Each of these comes with requirements in their licenses that you must comply with. This is called software compliance, and failing to meet the terms of a software license can cost you money and productivity.
What is Compliance?
According to Vector Networks, “software compliance is only using the number of copies you have bought or only having software installed in locations you have purchased licenses for.” You ensure this by gathering the license information from every computer in your business and then comparing it to the records of software license purchases you have made. You then uninstall or purchase further licenses for any installations that do not match your purchases.
How Do I Stay Compliant?
Keeping and updating your records is the only way to stay compliant. There are applications that can automatically compare records to installations on your network. This task can also be handled by a vendor. Managed services such as this will handle the entire process, including buying licenses or flagging unlicensed copies. There is another advantage to a vendor. Anglepoint explains, “most customers on a managed service do not get audited by companies once the company becomes aware that we have teamed with them to ensure proper usage of their software.”
Risks of Being Out of Compliance
This article from Security Today explains, “the costs for failing to be in compliance can run from thousands to billions of dollars. With some noticeable examples such as Facebook losing up to 150 billion dollars. Although most businesses wouldn’t see that much money in losses, many could see upward of 10% of their annual revenue lost from a security breach.” Software companies can audit your business either directly or by using a third party. They can also use other information to determine that you have unlicensed copies, such as through update downloads or even third-party data. They will then charge you for extra copies and additional fees. All of this is allowed by the license for the software, and there is no way to prevent it other than ensuring compliance.
Thorough and accurate records are a key to business success. Software compliance is yet another area that you are going to have to regularly update and self-audit. Automated tools will make this much easier and are necessary for many businesses with large numbers of computers. Outside audits will not just come with the risk of paying for additional licenses and fees but will also cost you time and manpower since they will require access to your systems.
As such it’s essential to have secure, and dependable websites for your business, as such, trusting the experts at Me Marketing Group can keep your mind at ease, and your business safe.