back to article ITAM Forum opens: 'People just want to talk to other managers about how to defend against software audits'

Representatives from Toyota, Danske Bank and Procter & Gamble are among members of a new professional body that aims to help IT user groups negotiate cloud service deals and software licensing with vendors. The ITAM Forum aims to encourage more companies to practise effective IT asset management (ITAM) and to bring new people …

  1. Fazal Majid

    The best way to avoid audits

    Is of course to replace proprietary software with open-source alternatives wherever possible. Anyone still choosing Oracle for greenfield deployments in 2020 needs to have their head examined (and be fired).

  2. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Avoid Oracle and SAP

    If you have neither SAP or Oracle then you have very little chance of software audits. (Using Linux and LibreOffice instead of Windows and Microsoft Office would reduce the chance even further.)

    1. grizzlybaz

      Re: Avoid Oracle and SAP

      Simply untrue, I'm afraid. There are still many vendors who audit and some who are even more aggressive then SAP and Oracle. Micro Focus, in particular, are quite active at the moment. Whilst there are many alternative options to software from some of the big vendors (and I, like you, advocate that companies get off SAP and Oracle if they can), in enterprise estates, it's never that easy. There are still not that many large organisations willing to take the plunge with open source software. That said, open source software is still subject to license. The chances of you being punished for misusing it though are minimal.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Avoid Oracle and SAP

      "If you have neither SAP or Oracle then you have very little chance of software audits."

      There are plenty of people who'd tell you to add Microsoft to that list. Ernie Ball was an early learner, e.g. https://www.cnet.com/news/rockin-on-without-microsoft/

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "learn to defend themselves against audits"

    I'm sorry, where's the problem ? I thought audits were a consensual kind of thing. It's a "I'm here to chek on your licensing landscape", "Please come in" type of thing.

    Because if some guy thinks he can barge in and check my kit without my consent, I'll have him know that he needs cops and a warrant to do so.

    And if he thinks he can just send me an invoice if I do not comply, well that does not mean I'll pay it.

    1. SharkNose

      Re: "learn to defend themselves against audits"

      It's not really that simple. You buy a license to use some kind of enterprise software, there is a good chance that you agree to be audited to demonstrate your compliance with that license. If you don't agree to allow that, you aren't in compliance with the license and should stop using it. Fine if it's just me not liking the license clause for Office or something similar, a little harder when you are a large enterprise that depends on a particular piece of software and cannot quickly or easily replace it.

      Sure they can't barge their way in, but they can send you a cease and desist letter telling you to either comply or stop using the software. And ultimately they have legal recourse then to get you to prove you have stopped using the software and have removed it from your business.

      The bigger issue is that way that many large companies make the licensing deliberately vague so it's hard to know if you are using it in a compliant manner or not. I think that is what this new forum is trying to help with.

    2. grizzlybaz

      Re: "learn to defend themselves against audits"

      Audits are very much not consensual. If you have agreed to a software contract and it contains a clause that grants the vendor the right to check your compliance with its terms, then it's not really optional. Obviously they can't just kick your door down and there has to be a degree of reasonable behaviour, but ignoring a vendor who wants to audit your usage when you've legally agreed to them having the right to do so, is a very slippery slope indeed. There are certain software vendors who don't worry about auditing anymore but there are still a lot of enterprise scale publishers who do and most of them will use an audit outcome as leverage to get you into their cloud platforms. The best way to avoid an audit is to manage your software licences and consumption properly.

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