According to a recent Cerno Software Risk Report, the risks associated with software licensing are only increasing as main software providers come under significant competitive pressure from newer cloud providers.
As the largest software providers become more dependent on their existing customers to generate revenue, we can expect a hike in the number of software audits being undertaken and the amount of penalties being issued for any under-licensing infractions.
If you think that sounds dangerous, the emergence of other new software delivery models around Cloud computing, SaaS (Software as a Service), and Virtualisation means managing your businesses software licences is becoming more of a confusing minefield now than ever.
Falling IT budgets in recent years have been a key driver in the evolution of these new technologies which can deliver significant cost savings and help support and accelerate business goals. But the speed at which these new technologies have been adopted could expose your business to significant risk.
This is because traditionally, software licences are tied to physical devices. With increasing numbers of businesses adopting desktop virtualisation to standardise their employees’ PC environments (for example, using Citrix or VMware), this traditional model no longer works.
Although vendors are quickly developing new licensing models, care needs to be taken when considering these new methods of software delivery to make sure you are making the most out of the licensing terms available to you and not breaching any existing licence or warranty agreements for current operating systems and application software.
Since creating a virtual desktop or SaaS user profile, or deleting it, can take a matter of moments, properly managing and keeping track of your software licences and users will not only help limit your legal risk but could also mean significant savings on upgrading, maintenance and renewal fees.