Software vendors are increasingly turning to compliance related tactics to boost falling new-license software revenues. The software audits extend from the desktop into the datacenter with the bulk of the risk in enterprise software.
Desktop vs Datacenter
While Software Asset Management is well-understood on the desktop, very few automated solutions exist to support audit defense in the datacenter. The challenges of counting license consumption are very different in the datacenter, as user-counts or install counts are a small fraction of commonly implemented license metrics. More often we find complex equations involving processor value units; processor co-efficient; database options; MIPS; concurrent users; connectors; virtual machines per physical machine per processor and so on.
Relative Scale of the Problem
The intersection of complexity and impact, for datacenter audit defense, demands an automated solution. In most large companies, software spend on datacenter solutions dwarfs the spend on the desktop. Failure to fully grasp the extent to which datacenter licenses are consumed can lead to software audit exposure on a scale unseen for desktop tools. The gravity of the situation is heightened because datacenter products tend to create greater “software lock-in” than desktop tools, this leads to the vendors being able to take a more robust position with customers.
Software Audit Defense
The only way to shift the balance of power in the software audit defense entanglement is to get ahead of the game, and ensure you have the processes and information necessary to know your exact license consumption position at any moment in time. It should be possible to automate this exercise to the extent that project teams do not need to be established to gather the data.
If you fear you may be audited, or have already experienced the pain of an audit and do not want to go through it again, select the “learn more” link to the left of this paragraph to see how Scalable’s Asset Vision product can provide an excellent baseline for your software audit defense preparations.