American law firm, Scott & Scott LLP, is predicting a significant increase in software audits in 2012. The firm, which defends organizations under scrutiny, believes 2012 will see more audits from both software vendors and trade groups such as the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software Information & Industry Association (SIIA).
Scott & Scott report that they are already seeing an upsurge in the number of client calls regarding pending audits. You can read the press release from Scott & Scott here.
What does this mean to the average organization? Research from Gartner over recent years, has made it clear that unprepared organizations can expect to come off far worse than those that have software asset management tools and practices in place prior to receiving an audit demand.
As such, while spending money on a software asset management (SAM) or license management tool might not be the natural top priority right now, there is a strong business case for making the investment sooner rather than later.
For a 4,000 seat organization (i.e. 4,000 PCs and Servers connected to the network), the cost of implementing, configuring and managing a SAM program might cost around US $60,000 (GBP £39,000) - a sizeable investment, for sure. But, compared to a reported cost of up to $500,000 to react to a vendor audit if you're not pre-prepared, it's a drop in the ocean (cost avoidance of 833% to be exact). And that's before you even start looking at some of the positive benefits of proactively managing your software licenses. License Dashboard's experience shows that the average organization is over-spending on software by around 20 per cent per year. Start managing licenses more effectively and you can eat into this over-spend, freeing up funds to be applied to other projects.
So maybe now is the time to bite the bullet and bring software license management to the top of your priority list? If you do, you'll reduce costs and be prepared; if you don't, it could be very costly indeed.