Is the software vendor audit affecting your IT strategy?

Is the software vendor audit affecting your IT strategy?

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Software license optimisation can bring an end to costly audits and potentially combative relationships with software vendors.

An essential part of any organisation’s IT strategy is the effective use of its software and hardware assets to provide appropriate services to the wider organisation.

But the inability in tracking the use of software risks non-compliance and a costly software audit that can put a brake on the IT organisation’s usefulness in being the vital enabler of the enterprise.

When a major software audit happens in an organisation, this can mean it making investment decisions that don’t take into account how software purchases and licenses correspond with IT strategy. This results in unexpected procurements and too much time spent on managing audit engagements with the software publisher/s. The effect of this all too often limits an organisation’s ability to deploy projects and plans designed to deliver the value that the CIO is trying to achieve.

A license audit can be a long, drawn out process that requires significant resources from the IT organisation that diverts attention from more strategic projects. It also can pit software publisher against customer. An organisation may feel they will have to pay for software that isn’t doing its job or isn’t being used and publishers may think their customers are using software they are not paying for.

This defensiveness in approach to licensing software restricts the effectiveness in which IT achieves the organisation’s strategy. A lack of data on licenses and consumption can easily and ultimately lead to a non-compliant environment and ‘accidental piracy’.

Other issues, such as mergers and acquisitions, server consolidation and virtualisation or the implementation of a BYOD environment can also inadvertently drive compliance issues. Any lack of appropriate planning around these scenarios can lead to a decrease in anticipated benefits to organisations as new usage patterns are out of compliance with old software agreements.

The CIO should acknowledge that having better information on software that’s in use and seeing software publishers as partners is fundamental to driving business value. Enabling that partnership means improving the information an organisation has on software license compliance and application usage and having this intelligence readily to hand.

Software license optimisation can help in making sure of license compliance, boosting asset use and decreasing software costs.

This optimisation differs from a traditional view of software asset management (SAM) as it starts with license compliance rather than making this the objective in itself. Tracking accurate information on licenses and actual software usage profiles of users across the enterprise allows organisations to improve decision making on how licenses can be deployed to maximise value and ROI across technology deployments.

When IT has the best possible insight into what rights they have under their publisher agreements, how this can be mapped to their business strategy and how software can be reassigned to leverage maximum return, they can make decisions on what software to buy, and how to move the business forward, at a lower cost. They are doing more with less.

To achieve these benefits requires some investment and expert resources. Doing this manually requires time and labour and can only target a few strategic vendors. The amount of data and expertise necessary to assess license compliance at any point in a software product lifecycle can be beyond the grasp and capabilities of most organisations. Many enterprises therefore choose to work with a credible SAM Partner, such as Crayon, to provide the necessary expertise to optimise the utilisation of their application discovery data and provide expert insight into the complexities of license entitlements and deliver strategies and policies and procedures to optimise the enterprises IT investments.

Optimisation allows the organisation to be in a better position when discussing software usage with its publisher partners as it has access to accurate usage data. Enterprises can then achieve improved business value with what it already owns and change the technology portfolio to align more with the enterprise strategy. It also helps in bringing together the organisation’s and vendor’s business objectives as both can move away from the risk of more “confrontational audits” to more strategic partnerships.

For more information on how Crayon can help you optimise your enterprise’s IT investments or to support you in a forthcoming publisher audit please call your local Crayon team today or visit us at


I am the Group Chief Marketing Officer at Crayon. My team are focused on driving enhanced lead generation campaigns and nurturing for our sales organisations across multiple geographies though the utilisation and coordination of all online and offline communication channels. We are driving increased brand awareness in the business's core competency areas of Software Asset Management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing solutions and associated consultancy services. I have over 20 years of senior business leadership experience within direct marketing/direct sales and mass distribution businesses, in both the B2B and B2C markets serving on the boards of both private and public multinational corporations.