How to negotiate a better software audit clause

Many customers report that the number of software audits requested by publishers has risen dramatically over the past several years.

At best, this proves inconvenient for customers that have to allot valuable time and resources to manage the audit. At worst, organizations face steep financial penalties if unintentional license deficits are discovered.

Perhaps the best means of protecting your company from the risks of software audits is negotiating sufficient protections in your software license agreements when initiating your relationships with publishers. By getting down on paper the terms of any future audits, you mitigate many of their potential risks. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,

This rogue IT asset is costing you money – here’s how to spot one

printerIt’s not every day you find $21,000 lying around your office. And no, we’re not talking about fixing improper software licensing or avoiding a ransomware attack. We’re talking about your printers.

When one organization took a closer look at its printers, it uncovered 281 so-called “problem devices” – printers that were too old, too expensive, or weren’t being used to their full potential. Refreshing just 153 of those devices could save the company $21,000 a month. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,

5 hallmarks of successful asset recovery

asset recoveryOut with the old, in with the new, right? Let’s adjust that adage a bit: Securely dispose of the old, and in with the new.

Asset recovery – the proper disposal or recycling of hardware devices – is a modern IT requirement for organizations of all sizes. Too often, old equipment that has gone past its end-of-life or is replaced with a new model ends up being thrown away, winding up in a landfill. How many devices get lost in a cluttered drawer and closet, and then simply thrown out? Continue Reading…

Tags: ,

Why your 2-year-old computer is making you unproductive

improve performanceFor years, organizations have worked on a 3- or 4-year hardware refresh cycle – a timeframe that has become the conventional wisdom. But that conventional wisdom may no longer be accurate.

Hardware fresh out of the box is quick to boot up, full of memory, and responsive. But after a few years, laptops and desktops alike are running well below optimal performance – hard drives are filled up, and boot times can be measured in minutes, not seconds. Plus, these older computers are probably running old operating systems vulnerable to security breaches and intrusions. Newer operating systems like Windows 10 include automated updates but aren’t suited for older equipment. Continue Reading…

Tags:

Follow these 6 truths to unleash your ITAM program

chainLost laptops. Unused software licenses. Ghost assets. For too many organizations, these IT failures are really a failure of IT asset management (ITAM). In these companies, hardware and software tracking is too challenging a goal, or one that gets bumped down the pecking order every year.

Here’s the truth: It doesn’t have to be this way. Over the past 20 years, we’ve learned that ITAM must be implemented in every organization, no matter how large or small. And along the way, we’ve uncovered six truths about the most successful ITAM programs and how to get your own off the ground.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that asset management is attainable by all. Let’s uncover the truth, and help your organization get on track for an ITAM plan. Continue Reading…

Tags: ,

Paid for, but not used: Why you’re probably not using some software entitlements

keyboard2Many organizations struggle to keep up with more than just the owned versus deployed positions of their software licensing; additional entitlements, such as software maintenance, are often purchased with the license, but go overlooked and unused. These additional entitlements, the terms of which differ from publisher to publisher, are typically valid for a fixed timeframe, and organizations often fail to act on them within that period. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,

How many laptops has your company lost this year?

How many laptops has your company lost this year?It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your laptops are?

A misplaced laptop is no surprise to IT – many a laptop has been left in a public place or lost in plain sight on shelves or in drawers. And unfortunately, employees moving into a new job with a different company have been known to take their laptop with them. On average, 10 percent of IT hardware assets are in a state of purgatory, leaving no trace but a record in the books.

But is this a cause for panic? What’s the true cost of a few missing laptops to a business, especially one with increasing revenue and growing profit?

The real – and hidden – cost of lost laptops

Fact: Laptops are relatively cheap. Another reality: The content on those laptops is an organization’s lifeblood. If an employee loses a laptop, organizations can be faced with the loss of financial documents and information, HR records, regulatory filings, and valuable intellectual property. In addition, lost content could put an organization at risk of falling out of compliance with HIPAA or the SEC. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

Here’s what our readers considered a top IT priority in 2014

People around tableLooking back on 2014, it’s clear to us that IT asset management (ITAM), and more specifically software licensing, was a top priority for many organizations.

We published 93 posts in 2014, and eight of the 10 most-read articles explored various licensing changes from partners like Microsoft, Adobe, and Apple.

We’re not surprised. Software licensing is complicated, and the seemingly constant adjustments made during multi-year contracts make asset management that much more difficult. Because avoiding an audit is much more fun than responding to one, IT professionals must educate themselves on licensing changes, and how software licensing evolves over time.   Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

IT time wasters: Failing to prepare for a software audit

clock in trashIf you’re like most organizations, it’s been a while since your last self-audit. A survey we conducted found that out of 102 IT admins and executives, 56 percent said their company hadn’t completed a self-audit in the past year.

That doesn’t mean they’re more confident they’ll never see an audit. Almost two-thirds said they believe software audits are becoming more prevalent. And a 2013 Express Metrix survey of 178 senior IT managers in North America about audit activity found that more than half had been audited in the last two years.

The most frequent auditors cited in the Express Metrix survey were Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, Oracle, and SAP, in that order. Does your organization license software from any of those publishers? Most companies use software from at least one, so you should be expecting an audit request in the mail soon, if it hasn’t come already.

While some might see IT asset management and other ongoing maintenance as a time waster, the true time drain is responding to a simple audit when you’re not ready. A prepared organization could potentially respond to a request in days, while those that are unprepared could spend months gathering the necessary information. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

Ghost assets are scarier than you might think: Part 3

This post is part of a three-part series on ghost assets.

Ghost serversIn my last two posts, I told the frightening tale of ghost assets, the once lively pieces of an IT department’s infrastructure that eventually expired. Yet instead of burying these dead devices, many organizations leave them to haunt their IT departments, and they end up threatening a business’s bottom line and compliance. In the final portion of my tale, I’ll discuss how organizations can finally lay these ghosts to rest.

Exorcizing the specter
Tools are not the answer — they’re only an element of eliminating ghost assets. There is no such thing as a one-shot, out-of-the-box, perfect configuration and inventory management product, though many manufacturers claim to provide such a solution. These products are open-structured and highly configurable, but require tremendous time, effort, and expertise to set up and maintain. Many customers find that they can’t fully leverage the capability of these products without hiring a dozen or more subject matter experts or paying exorbitant rates for long-term, on-site consultants.

IT asset management (ITAM) should be thought of not as a tool, but as process — one that encompasses tools, personnel, expertise, and procedures. Here are some of the best ways to return ghost assets to their graves and eliminate the risks they pose. Continue Reading…

Tags: , ,