When it comes to complying with a Microsoft license audit, there’s much to be done. As a business leader, you have to dedicate time and human assets to the license review process. You have to decide if you’ll work with a third party to support a smooth audit or if you’ll try to tackle it all in house. Before you can successfully do any of these things, though, you’ll need to set the right cadence for your organization. After all, surviving a Microsoft software audit is about more than just getting the facts and figures right. It’s about knowing how licensing concerns impact your enterprise and what you can do to make the most of licensing review and renewal opportunities.
Setting the Right Cadence for Your Enterprise
Every successful business leader and IT department head knows that setting the right cadence for your organization is essential to overall enterprise success. There’s no exception when it comes to the short-term task of handling a Microsoft license audit. As you prepare to head into the audit, it’s important to determine:
• Who will lead the audit team,
• Which team members will tackle which tasks,
• Who is responsible for responding to Microsoft,
• Who will interface with third-party contractors and
• How you can leverage the audit to make the most of your software investments.
As a business leader, one of the first things you should do is determine your financial priorities when it comes to software investments. Does it make more sense to invest in a Microsoft perpetual license, or should you opt for Cloud-based subscription services? Do you need to extend Software Assurance (SA) contracts, or can you handle troubleshooting concerns in house? Understanding how software costs figure into your enterprise’s overhead is essential to making smart audit decisions.
Preparing for a Microsoft License Audit As a Team
A Microsoft software audit can seem overwhelming for even the most experienced IT professionals let alone less experienced team members. Because experience and expertise can vary significantly across your enterprise, it’s essential that handling the audit is seen as a team experience. No one person should shoulder the entire burden of the audit. When setting the cadence for your organization, be sure that everyone is invested in the audit as a team experience. Working as a team helps relieve the burden of the audit and ensures that essential facts and figures will be reviewed by more than one person.
Setting the Standard for Smart Fiscal Decisions
If you’re in charge of purchasing or licensing software for your organization, it’s essential that you set the right cadence when it comes to making monetary decisions too. That means understanding when you might benefit from a Microsoft perpetual license and when your organization is better off pursuing another type of licensing agreement. Do your research, talk with accounting staff about potential tax implications and get help from an outside source when you need it.
Remember that a Microsoft software audit is more than a frustrating inconvenience. It’s also a great opportunity to review how your employees are actually using software so that you can make smarter purchasing decisions. During an audit, pay close attention to programs that are being under or over utilized. Making adjustments to licenses that reflect the reality of actual software use is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save your enterprise money while retaining access to essential services.
Earth & Sky Inc. has depth of experience in Microsoft audits, software management and licensing negotiations. If you need help handling an audit or evaluating your organization’s software agreements, get in touch with us today.