Creating and maintaining competitive advantage in today’s business world is not just important; it’s an absolute necessity if a business intends to survive. Competition has never been so fierce in a world suffering from global recession, fluctuating fuel costs and spiralling inflation. Companies need to streamline their activities and become super-efficient if they want to stay ahead of the game.
No matter what business you’re involved in, whether it is manufacturing, service, retail etc. maintaining a solid IT infrastructure is paramount to achieving success. Researching and sourcing the right hardware, software and information system providers for your business is a complicated and time consuming process – but one which should pay dividends over time.
Making Sure You’re Covered
However, there is often an oversight within this scoping and purchasing process – software licence management.
You might think that keeping tabs on all the software that your company runs would be a doddle, but even a very simple example can show how a business can easily lose track of what’s what and more importantly – what isn’t.
Take a small business with 10 employees as an example. You have 10 desktop computers and 10 user licenses for MS Office. You also have 4 laptops that your sales team use when they’re not onsite. Do you need to extend your license for the sales team when they’re on the road? Will someone in the office use a sales team PC and therefore will your license cover it? Well, the simple answer is; no it won’t. But who really has time to keep track of this kind of thing when they’re trying to keep the business above water?
You may think this example is ridiculous in its simplicity – however it illustrates just how easy it is to infringe on your license agreement with just 14 machines and 10 license agreements. Imagine a business with 100 or even 1000 employees and then imagine how you would keep track of your software then. The implications of not managing your license are huge particularly in the current economic climate where software companies are increasingly imposing financial penalties on companies that have failed a software audit.
Keeping Control of Your software Licenses
As illustrated above, even the smallest business can come unstuck with their license usage, but a simple spread sheet should suffice to keep these guys on the side of legality. However, larger businesses often hire software license management companies to take the pressure off this potential headache from the organisation. With the right systems to monitor your licensing and also appropriate experience, they can ensure that you stay within your agreements whilst saving you the cost of man hours you would otherwise spend doing an insufficient job.
As a manager of a medium sized business, Josh Hartley relies on Trustmarque Solutions’ software licence management service to ensure that his team don’t break their relevant licence agreements.