Keeping all your ducks in a row with your licenses will help your business keep abreast of any possible problems down the line. As things grow it often becomes more and more important to keep track of all of the software which is used throughout your endeavor. The following best practices in license management software will help make the whole process much easier.
Table of Contents
- 1. Perform a Compliance Audit and Inventory First
- 2. Centralize Your Acquisition and Payment Process
- 3. Keep Proof of Licensing and Documentation in One Place
- 4. Remove Programs Not in Use
- 5. Coordinate Your Team Around License Management
- 6. Consider Using an Automated License Management Software
- Keep Software Licensing Central
1. Perform a Compliance Audit and Inventory First
The truth is that many companies are using unlicensed software, and an audit will ruin your day when it happens. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you’re currently in compliance with the software your business is using.
For smaller companies, this is much easier, but taking an inventory will become harder with more programs on board.
The idea is to make sure that you’re in compliance before you begin to streamline the rest of your management. Performing this initial audit is the most important step: it also allows you to fix problems.
Take note of the various kinds of licenses. There may be limits on the number of people using them, or other restrictions that matter in the workplace. Take care to undo anything which isn’t in compliance with the license agreement, then you can begin with better practices.
This is your first opportunity to check compliance, so be thorough.
2. Centralize Your Acquisition and Payment Process
With everything inventoried, you need to come up with a policy for acquiring more software. As long as the process passes through people that record it, you’ll be able to maintain the all-important inventory.
But, you’ll also need to discourage people from bringing in software without it being recorded.
While you’ve centralized your future acquisitions, you should also take the opportunity to keep better books on payment. Some licenses require regular payment, others may be good permanently.
It’s best to have all software go through just a few people. A new acquisition policy is a gamechanger for the management of your licensing since all of the information is in one place to check compliance.
3. Keep Proof of Licensing and Documentation in One Place
Along with your inventory, you should make sure that you have proof of your licenses on hand. You’ll also need to keep any documentation on your programs in the same repository.
Creating a central place for all of this can be a major pain, especially if you’ve been doing without regular compliance checks for years. That said, it will be much more efficient to check things out in the future.
Centralization is the name of the game when it comes to easier management.
Once you have all of this together, double-check to make sure that you’re in compliance. You may have missed something along the way and it pays off to be extra careful.
4. Remove Programs Not in Use
After you have everything centralized, you should monitor who is using each piece of software. There may be a few programs that are no longer used, and they can safely be eliminated to keep things more streamlined. You don’t need bloat in your centralized database.
Paying for underutilized software is just a money drain, even if you think you may use it in the future. Remove the programs and cancel any payment plans that are in place.
While it may not affect every organization, this is a measure that can save money and make your license management more efficient. Take a look, you may be surprised to see what you’re still paying for.
5. Coordinate Your Team Around License Management
Your team needs to be on board with the entire process for your continued compliance to be guaranteed. Make sure that everyone knows the new rules.
It also means that you’ll want to coordinate updates through your entire system. Licenses can change along with software, so maintaining compliance is a lot easier if everyone has the same version of the software.
Top-to-bottom, the goal is to make sure compliance is easy. Policies and actions should reflect that, especially going into the future. Chances are it’s taken a ton of work to get everything inventoried and audited in the first place. No need to let it go again.
Regular internal audits are another thing to seriously consider. Lowering the risk of non-compliance takes time, but in the end, it’s well worth it since there should be no risk at all.
6. Consider Using an Automated License Management Software
Once the initial work is done, you’ll want to stay on top of things.
If your organization has any real size, you may quickly expand beyond what a few spreadsheets can take care of. In that case, there are programs available to keep track of your licensing.
There are dozens of programs out there, but the main things you need to look for are:
- Support for all relevant license types
- Automatic notifications when action needs to be taken
- Storage for documentation and contracts
- Up-to-date version information
As long as you have those, you’re in good hands. Finding a program that is good for your organization, on the other hand, takes time. Make sure it’s a good fit for the long haul.
With a great program to handle things, you can lower the man-hours required to perform audits as well. It’s a great idea and if you work with it regularly it will make life much easier for managing everything.
Keep Software Licensing Central
Software license management can lower overall risk for your company, making sure that you’re compliant with everything you’re using.
The first step is to get all the data in one place, making sure that you know what action to take next.
With onetool you can keep your best SaaS platforms on hand and manage licenses for your team as required. Keep records and invoices centralized and only worry about one invoice each month.
It takes work, but careful planning and program selection will make complete compliance easier than you think!