The term “audit” may be loaded with negative connotations, but your business has a lot to gain from running a software audit. According to the ITAM Review, the two primary goals of a software audit are: 1) to reduce the number of inactive licenses your business is running, and 2) to make optimal use of licenses your business already owns. The bottom line? A software audit can save you money.
Software audits can also help you close security holes, reduce unnecessary asset usage, and ensure legal compliance with regulations relevant to your business. It may be worth it for your business to use a Software Asset Management Tool to help keep things under control, but know that this type of program won’t be an absolute “set it and forget it” solution.
Wasting Licensing Money
A software audit inventories how many licenses a business currently holds, and how many of those licenses are actually in use. With this information, you can make educated licensing decisions to lower your cost of ownership. Many licenses require renewal fees—so if your team isn’t actually using a particular software, you’re probably wasting money on it. You can also use audit results to negotiate better rates for licenses you do need.
Avoid Buying Unnecessary Extra Licenses
Software audits also serve as a kind of “inventory” documenting how many licenses your company has for each product it uses. This can be very helpful when fulfilling employee software requests: Instead of buying additional licenses, you can simply transfer any that aren’t currently in use. For example, an employee may request Photoshop for some light photo editing work, but doesn’t need the latest and greatest tools and updates. Another employee is sitting on a copy of an older version they haven’t used in three years. Instead of dropping a few hundred dollars for another license, just transfer the installation.
Running a software audit can close security holes and reduce threat vulnerability, an important concern for any business. Hackers can identify security holes in software and use them to infiltrate your network—so the more software you have, the more vulnerable you are. Older, outdated software may even stop receiving updates, putting you at even greater risk. Running an audit to remove unused software will help protect your employee devices and servers from security threats.
Catch and Replace Pirated/Unlicensed Software
Regardless of how it got there, unlicensed software on your company’s computers can lead to massive problems from fines to lawsuits. A software audit will identify software that’s pirated or simply not being used in-line with a signed licensing agreement. For example, your business could have a license to use a program on three computers, but has it installed on four. If your business needs a fourth license, you could pay for compliance purposes; if you don’t need the software, you can remove it.
Wasting Server Resources and Energy Consumption
Any unused software could have residual effects with utilizing server resources, which also drives up energy consumption. This typically won’t have an impact on software that just runs on a local machine, but any application running on a server that’s not being used is wasting your company’s money. Identifying and removing unused software on servers can decrease the amount of servers your business needs to run.
If your business is looking to get the most out of externally facing applications and software, contact the experts at Apica to find out more about load testing and monitoring tools. Your business can make smarter decisions about hosting infrastructure and see a productivity boost with a little more information.