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Monday, October 29, 2007

IT Audits: Taking Care of Licensing Tasks

When you are conducting IT audits, you will come across software licensing issues about which you have to talk to customers and prospects. You can approach this situation tactfully by telling them you found software that was questionably licensed and wonder if they have documentation to prove ownership. Any responsible small business owner will understand why they need to have the license agreements, invoices, end-user license agreements and original CDs to prove they own their products.

IT Audits: Never Negotiate Licenses

If your customers and prospects can’t provide you with software licenses during IT audits, you have to tell them they need to decide on a remediation plan immediately to avoid future problems. You can advise them on how to approach this.

Give small businesses a couple months after the IT audits to work on the problem, but don’t give them more. Licensing compliance is non-negotiable for your firm and should be in your service contracts.

It’s About Protecting Yourself

You need a paragraph in your support contract documents that discusses a client’s responsibility for software licensing. And you need to make sure these documents also state that if you find deficiencies during IT audits, they have to either remove the software or purchase it to fix the problem. You can’t work for anyone that is opposed to buying software legally.

Remediation Plans after IT Audits

Some businesses don’t use certain software programs on their PCs, and part of your plan can be to remove software using Add/Remove functions that is not being used anymore.

If the PCs are close to being replaced, you might want to consider telling them to upgrade their PCs and helping them install new, legal software after IT audits. You can also recommend they keep current equipment and buy the two-year site license with the maintenance, which gives them unlimited upgrades.

Submitted By: Computer Consulting Kit