You may already be aware, but the number of small and medium sized businesses experiencing license audits is on the rise. Auditors are on the hunt for discrepancies between purchased licenses and actual users. Not only can the costs and fines for being under-licensed be daunting, the manpower required to handle and comply with auditors can leave IT departments shorthanded. Employees who would otherwise be tackling internal issues or servicing customer needs are instead delegated to audit preparation participation. Audits can last months, and being improperly prepared to face one will only make the process drag on longer. North Shore Data Services can help position you for a successful license audit. Here are a few practices we implement to make readying for and dealing with the inevitable that much easier.
First, we don’t ignore that email notification requesting a self-audit. An audit is a time and manpower-consuming task, and by letting NSDS take the reins, you can continue to focus on your own customers. Through the implementation of Continuum’s remote management tool; RMM, we conduct regular assessments of your standing in terms of compliance. Establishing that you’re licensed correctly will not only help you avoid non-compliance fines but will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for the eventual arrival of the true audit. In the event that you’re found to be out to be non-compliant, we can implement corrections before they cause problems. Our process may also shine light onto licenses that are unused or redundant, thus allowing them to be re-harvested or removed. Once we’ve conducted a self-audit on your behalf, you’ll have a clear picture and plan in place.
In the same way a fire drill is an effective means for preparing for an actual emergency, an NSDS run self-audit will get everyone familiar with the process and expectations. It will also paint an accurate picture of not only what your business is using, but also how and where. We can help you to manage your software licenses much more effectively with this knowledge, and when the actual license auditors arrive, they’ll be grateful that your ducks are neatly in a row. A process that can take several months, and disrupt your flow of business, will become much more streamlined if the proper steps are taken in preparation.
In addition to giving you an accurate inventory snapshot, an NSDS conducted audit will establish accurate and regularly updated keeping of all software purchase records and license information. We’ll record and monitor both software licensing as well as user data, and through the use of Continuum RMM, we’ll be able to load and manage specific applications whose sole purpose is automating and tracking software discovery. Your team will have at its fingertips real-time, accurate data that paints a precise picture of compliance. An accurate portrayal of inventory and usage is critical, and if you don’t currently have one, we highly recommend you begin the process of taking stock immediately.
Because licensing procedures and protocol continue to become more complex, and the parameters are ever-changing, achieving an in-depth, fluent understanding of your specific requirements and thresholds, is more critical than ever. It’s also extremely daunting a task, especially for employees who are already wearing several hats. The North Shore Data Systems team has a profound knowledge of licensure compliance and keeps current with changing regulations. Knowing you have a team of specialists committed to your success is invaluable, and removes the pressure of keeping with license knowledge.
The importance of ensuring your team has a working knowledge of compliance as it pertains to your business cannot be overstated, and NSDS can provide you with resources that will help you confidently operate within the parameters of compliance.
If you think your business could improve upon its preparation for a software license audit, reach out to us at North Shore Data Services. We can begin conducting an internal audit, help you get an accurate inventory of your current products and users, and ensure you’re well within compliance boundaries. We look forward fully automating your processes, and when that audit letter arrives, you’ll breathe easier knowing you’re ready. Call us at (978) 988-0201 to get the ball rolling.