Best Practices in Software License Management


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Software license management is an increasingly noteworthy subject in the business world today. Many companies find themselves facing software audits on a regular basis. Companies are forced to conduct internal software audits to ensure compliance as well as be prepared for external ones initiated by software vendors.

As the IT sector continues to grow, software license management has become the need of the hour. With these license management software, organizations are now able to optimize all their IT expenses; be it on purchasing new software or replacing the existing ones. Every professional license management software enables staff members to enhance their productivity as they don’t require to wait for engaged licenses to become available.

With the aid of software license management tools, organizations can also save hefty amounts on their resource management. OpenLM is one such platform that enables organizations to become cost-efficient within a month while boosting their ROI by 10x or more. OpenLM is also among the Garter-recognized firms that specialize in software license management and other asset management. 

Having a professional software license management tool also safeguards companies from various non-compliance issues. Every software license comes with an array of terms and conditions. However, due to the complexities involved in software licenses, companies often fail to comply with these terms and conditions. 

This makes non-compliance issues inevitable for companies. Software license management tools help organizations to decipher all the complexities and stay compliant with all their software licenses and safeguard their software assets. Thus, a professional software license management tool protects a company whenever there is an external audit. 

Another noteworthy benefit of software license management tool is that it helps organizations save money by recycling their licenses. For example, with OpenLM, organizations can easily stretch their software licenses to utilize more than what they pay. License Harvesting and Token-based Licensing are two models that allow companies to use more than what they usually pay. With these two models, companies can even recycle their licenses or software assets to save time and money.

Well, having said so much about software license management, here are some of the best practices for software license management. Scroll down to the last to get deep insights on how a professional license management tool can help your organization grow agile and stay ahead of the competition.

Define a Software License Management Policy

Every company and organization should define and implement a software license management policy that includes all software licenses supported and approved. This policy must manage all of the software used, indicating in particular versions and supported platforms as well as the date of software expiration and the procedure to be followed in this case.

It is recommended to pass all requests for software purchase through the department head. It should also be clear that employees are not permitted to directly acquire software or download software from the Internet without permission.

Inform Management and Employees

Once the software license management policy is defined it is essential to communicate the details to management and employees. Successful implementation depends on the full understanding and participation of both management and employees in the process.

The software asset management policy needs to set clear guidelines for compliance, implementing rules and discouraging offenders. It will also require performing regular self-assessment and performance reports.  In addition, training programs to inform staff of policies licenses, and conditions of use approved software, should be made available.

Produce an Inventory of all Software

All installed software must be listed with their respective usage level. The IT team will make underused licenses available to other users and avoid unnecessary purchase of new licenses. Underutilized licenses may also suggest that the software training is not tailored to the needs of users or that a tool is obsolete. This is exactly where one requires a professional software license management tool.

Uninstall Old Applications

Companies should review their software portfolios annually and uninstall unused or redundant applications. It will save licensing costs, optimize staff productivity and improve functionality.

File Software Licensing Agreements

Companies must maintain centralized documents relating to purchases of software, including license agreements. This repository will enable management of license purchase, cost evaluation, software depreciation, warranty information, and support. There are technological solutions such as the OpenLM license monitoring tool, to automate the inventory of software licenses and registrations thus reducing the risk of manual errors.

Perform Regular Checks

Companies performing regular checks and comparing licenses to installed software are able to demonstrate audit compliance. Effective inventory management relies on automatic license monitoring systems, which produce application usage metering reports to identify underused or overused licenses.

(Here is a detailed guide to Software License Management by OpenLM)

Use of Latest Approved Versions

Only the latest approved software versions must equip the user-workstations. The implementation of automated processes and distribution facility patch programs is an effective and scalable method to keep systems up to date. Software asset audit should also indicate all installed versions and allow updating from older versions.

Implement Policies to Enforce Compliance

Companies must remove obsolete software from computers even when the licensed software is installed on the computer replacement. Organizations can also have a blacklist of prohibited applications to prevent users from installing unapproved software. Automatic tools that regularly ensure license compliance are available on the market.

A professional software license management tool can easily identify obsolete software and remove them. Having such a tool will not only save time, but will also cut down the annual IT maintenance cost for the organization.

Make Software License Compliance a Business Strategy

Software license management tools allow savings and maximizes productivity, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO). This direct link facilitates the integration of compliance Software into broader strategic initiatives for asset management and lower TCO. 

License usage statistics sliced according to Users, Groups, Projects, and Workstations are imperative for streamlining billing processes. The OpenLM license monitoring tool provides such reporting ability, hence is a good exemplar for such automated license monitoring tools.

Adapt to the Users Requirements

With the growing use of smartphones and touch pads, employees increasingly want to connect their personal devices to corporate systems. This trend “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) affects the way companies design their strategy may create a risk of users using software that is not supported.

(Learn how OpenLM has made Software Licensing Easy For You)

  • Summary

Implementing comprehensive compliance license management software, including support for mobile devices, the IT team will have more time and resources to devote to other business requirements. Whether to monitor the use or distribution of software or to have visibility on all the software installed across the network, the automation of software compliance is a necessary step to save time and money.

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