Manual versus automated software licensing management

Software licensing management can be a nightmare. Tracking what user has a license for which programs compared to the programs actually installed on your computer systems can be nearly impossible task. The tendency toward being lax with software licensing management is fairly common, although it is a huge risk, as the costs associated with penalties for exceeding the usage limitations of your licenses for a program can be staggering when compared to up front licensing costs. Software licensing management can be done manually through the use of spreadsheets to keep track of ownership, either based on per user or per department allocation, but manually maintained lists often fall behind, with new licensing never added, or the termination of employees and the transfer of a license to a different person not being properly tracked. Over time, these software licensing management lists fall out of sync to the point of uselessness, especially in the face on an audit. An automated software licensing management solution is probably a wise choice in cases of large bodies of application users. Software licensing management programs exist that can monitor the total owned licenses for a given application as compared to the number of instances installed on computers that are connected to your network. The software licensing management program would audit all programs on all PCs and provide alerts should you exceed your owned licenses, which would allow you to take action and acquire additional licenses, or locate and remove the rogue, unlicensed copies of the application. Software companies have the right to audit anyone for unlicensed application use, and it can happen unexpectedly; disgruntled employees can even anonymously report you. Even if you are in compliance, an updated software licensing management database can make an audit a less stressful experience by ensuring that all your licenses match what you have in use.  <P>