For a businessman, face a Software audit regardless of the industry he belongs to, the word audit automatically translates into a lot of nerves and hundreds of concerns. Although each process within your company is being carried out transparently and completely following the parameters established by law, in any case the idea of having a team of auditors reviewing each corner, process and paper related to your business in search of errors or legal problems, is a situation that nobody wants to go through. However, this process is normal, necessary and more recurring than people imagine.
What is a software audit?
A software audit is a process, commonly carried out at the initiative of IT tool and service providers, whose main objective is to monitor compliance with the rules and limits established in software licences. Today, it is common for some companies to have over or sub-licensing due to purchases and renewals made over the years, installing the software on more devices than agreed or activating products on which the manufacturer allows them to be activated by system, but on which they do not have acquired rights of use.
To combat this phenomenon, software providers usually schedule audit appointments in which the manufacturer and its License Compliance team, or an expert and objective third party, will analyze in detail the operation of the service and compare it with the terms that were establish. about its use. In case the auditor finds any inconsistency during his evaluation, the supplier has the right to take legal action or define economic sanctions against the company.
Process of a software audit
Each audit, depending on the team carrying it out, can vary in many ways; however, in general, the process is made up of three specific stages:
Initial meeting: during this first stage, the auditors meet with the managers or the team in care of the management and maintenance of IT tools to explain in more depth the reasons why they are executing this procedure, what the licenses will be going to review, how long the audit will take, and what your review process will roughly consist of.
In this phase, the auditors will study the operation and use of the software, request information on the number of licenses and the personnel that manages them and has access to them; They will also request proof of the purchase of the licenses and collect all the information they need to corroborate compliance with the parameters established in the contract.
Report of results: when the analysis and evidence stage is finish, the audit team will proceed to prepare and present a report, to both parties, on their findings and conclusions regarding the case. Usually, it is a third party who performs the audit, so if any inconsistency is found, the auditors will not define the sanctions, but the company that provides the software services will do it directly.
How to handle a software audit?
Generally, software audits are perform: 1. Annually prior to the renewal of support and maintenance of the software or application; 2. Depending on the expiration date of the product; or 3. If the provider detects any strange behavior with the service. In any of the three cases, the risk remains considerable, since if the auditor detects and verifies any suspicious conduct, the provider is automatically able to execute claims. In order for you to pass this type of system audit without problems. We share a series of steps that you can follow before and during the audit:
Communicate with the provider: the worst position you can take in a process like this is to close yourself off from the request made by your provider. Conduct like that will only make you appear guilty and highly suspicious. Instead, when you receive the request, contact your supplier and establish, together with him, the action plan to be execute; from the dates on which the process will begin and end and the data processing policies that the auditors must follow during the procedure.
Ask for advice: an audit will never be an easy process to go through, especially for those organizations that do not have extensive experience; however, the difference between success and failure will depend on whether your company prepares itself and shows itself ready to face the entire procedure calmly and normally. For this, the best option is to request advice from expert companies such as new digital hub. We can not only anticipate and prepare you to organize and adjust your use of the license according to your acquired rights, or to demonstrate to the auditors that you are indeed complying with the terms set out in the license, but we can also resolve any questions you may have. or your team may have about how an audit works or what limits you can set to prevent any illegal violations.
Carry out your own audit: if you have known for months before that your software provider is going to carry out an audit in your company, the best way to make sure that everything is working correctly and transparently is to carry out an audit yourself. Previous internal control . You don’t need to hire an external service, you can simply run a monthly detailed analysis that reports the operation and management of software licenses. In these cases, being proactive can save you from having to pay large sums of money in the future.
Make use of a software management tool
At new digital hub we know for sure that keeping an effective control of all the licenses, their operation and their expiration dates, is a rather tedious and repetitive task in which the staff of the Companies often make many mistakes. To avoid having to go over this process and allocate your human capital to other more complex tasks, the best solution is to adopt an IT asset management (SAM) tool . The SAM service that we offer will undoubtedly facilitate the administration, monitoring and control of all your licenses.
will not only carry out an analysis and optimize the useful life cycle of each product to the maximum, but it will also allow you to have total clarity regarding the performance of each software. However, during an audit, there’s no way you’ll be surprise, as SAM will keep you up to date on what IT assets you have, how they work, when they expire, and more. Now, remember that a software audit is a necessary and completely normal process that hundreds of business owners like you have to go through on a regular basis.