Software audits are wasting IT’s time

9 Dec 2016 | Datacentre, SAM/SLO

Recent research by the Campaign for Clear Licensing has revealed exactly how disruptive software vendor audits are to IT departments. The research, based on the responses of 170 ITAM, SAM and licensing professionals worldwide, revealed that the average audit takes 194 working hours to resolve over 7+ months.

This equates to roughly a month of time, most of which is reactive due to organization’s not yet having implemented a rigorous SAM program. This, coupled with the fact that many software vendors are now using audits as a way of increasing revenue and driving sales of their cloud-based solutions, means that this is likely to increase.

Which vendor is the least helpful?

The results also highlighted that Oracle is the worst vendor in terms of their aggressive behaviour and being focussed on short-term revenue. On the other hand, Microsoft were found to be the most helpful during an audit – i.e. being constructive, taking the long-term view and offering help and guidance.

Reviews were also mentioned as being disruptive. Although not a full-on audit, as you are normally not obliged to co-operate, they will still take up valuable time and will be used to persuade you to move towards the software vendor’s strategic products – typically cloud.

The Campaign for Clear Licensing believes this activity is actually stifling competition as customers are being prevented from making free-market choices by having to spend a large proportion of their time responding to audits.

SAM – the way to reduce this disruption

Implementing a rigorous Software Asset Management (SAM) program is the way to avoid this disruption from both reviews and audits. This will provide you with the data to better manage and optimize your licenses and ensure that when the request for audit drops through your letterbox, you are fully aware of your licensing position.

Sadly, too many organizations are reactive in this area and only bother to look at their licensing position when audited. We have come across one organization that puts aside $1M a year for just this. So, rather than invest part of that $1M into properly implementing SAM, it is happy to take the hit every year, so that it can deal with what is perceives are higher-priority tasks.


If you are considering implementing a SAM program and are not sure how to go about it, or have taken the first steps in this area and now want to accelerate your activities, get in touch we can help.