6 Tips for Tracking Software Licenses by@jennifermaria

6 Tips for Tracking Software Licenses

Software licensing management is the process of managing software used in a company. It tracks and documents the software used to evaluate how the software is being used and how it is helping the company in its operations. Software assets help companies achieve operations brilliance with their [evolving development methodologies] It becomes important to take care of their management as well. Given below are some tips that can help you track and document software licenses with ease. The most efficient way to manage your various software is to use a software license tracker.
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Jennifer Maria

Founder at Name Generator Engine. Entrepreneur, blogger & writer by profession.

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In the current age of technological advancement, software solutions have become an indispensable part of any organization's Information Technology infrastructure.


As software assets help companies achieve operations brilliance with their evolving development methodologies, it becomes important to take care of their management as well.


Software license management has emerged as a key element in modern business operations to manage software, especially in industries that rely on technology, such as IT and manufacturing.


If you are looking to manage your software licenses better, this post is for you. Read on to know how you can track and document software used in your company with ease.


6 Tips to track software licenses


Software licensing management is the process of managing software used in a company. It tracks and documents the software used - to evaluate how the software is being used and how it is helping the company in its operations.


Swift management helps the company make sure that the software is being used correctly, and efficiently, and what can be done to improve their usage with the help of the latest IT developments.


Licensing management helps you both improve the existing operations of your company as well as identify and overcome any licensing problems the company may be facing. Given below are some tips that can help you track software licenses with ease.


1. Use a software license tracker


One of the most efficient ways to manage various software is to use a software license tracker. It helps you keep track of your license usage by identifying software that is in use right now, ones not in use, available, and underused.


Furthermore, it ensures that the licenses that are in use comply with the requirements imposed by regulatory bodies. It helps you stay organized and audit-ready at any given moment.


A software license tracker also helps with the onboarding and offboarding of licenses. It regulates and automates their discovery. It may also offer additional features that help with better management of operations in general.


Benefits of a software license tracker

Let us take a look at the many benefits a software license tracker provides:

  • Map out the license deployment and usage of your entire company.
  • Organize it to work more efficiently by identifying opportunities and issues and working on them on time.
  • Gather licensing information from multiple sources, such as public domain, on-premises, and clouds.
  • Automate various processes such as license discovery and mapping.
  • Generate reports such as usage and availability of inventory.
  • Stay up to date on compliance and audit needs.


Factors to consider when buying a software license tracker

Different trackers will offer different benefits. Some strictly adhere to license management, while others may offer additional management benefits. You should check what works for your company and software needs to decide on a software tracker.


Given below are some basic factors you should always consider before choosing a tracker for yourself:


  • Your company requirements — Your software needs should dictate the tracker you choose. You may need a tracker to build an inventory from scratch, manage one in complete disarray, or simply run one that is largely organized.


  • Compliance needs — Compliance is a tricky subject. You should pay special attention to how the tracker helps with compliance and if it is efficient enough to take care of it. You should ideally look for one that requires minimal input from you in compliance and audit-related tasks.


  • Congruence with hardware setup — IT infrastructure management can often be complicated. This is why you should make sure that the tracker you use takes into consideration the hardware setup of your organization as well, and not just the software setup.


  • Maintenance — Companies get a license tracker to manage their software subscriptions. The last thing they want is to manage the tools used for managing. Thus, look for trackers that require minimal upkeep from you.


  • Budget — Lastly, the option you choose should fit under the budget allocated to software trackers. It is a highly useful tool that will prove to be a worthy addition to your arsenal, so make sure you spend accordingly.


Try to see if you can get a trial for the tracker you choose. It helps you check the tool’s compatibility with the rest of your system before you commit to it. Most software solutions offer trials nowadays.


2. Collect information about your software licenses

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One way to ensure your software licensing is accurate and well-organized is to begin from the beginning. Manually collect and store information about all your licenses to create a database. It can be a list that contains all the relevant details.


The details can include the license information, the cost at which it was purchased, renewal dates, expiry dates, maintenance costs, and contracts. At the end of the filing, these are various types of contracts you may have gathered:


  • Named user license
  • Concurrent user license
  • Free License
  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)
  • Volume license
  • Processor License A license under an enterprise agreement (EA)
  • Evaluation


Many companies make the mistake of not including cloud-based software solutions in the database. They only include desktop solutions and subscriptions. So, see that you include all kinds of software used by your company in any capacity.


Make sure to create it in a way that it can be easily accessed and shared with your company internally. It allows others to contribute to the database and access information as and when needed.


3. Set a standard to decide the usage status of licenses


As mentioned above, licenses can be well into usage or not being used at all. Further, they may be available and not being used for various reasons or simply not in the condition to be used because they have expired or breached a compliance requirement.


Whatever the status of the various licenses, document them in a standard way to make them organized. Decide what usage means, and differentiate them into tiers. This helps you single out licenses based on their status with ease.


You may contact the vendors to identify their status and obtain relevant information. Your team can also help you fill in the information regarding a software’s usage and its status. In the database, you may use icons or colors to differentiate between statuses.


4. Monitor expenses


One of the biggest advantages of license management is the opportunity to save costs in the long run. The mismanagement and lack of information related to software licensing earlier used to lead to much overspending.


Monitoring expenses closely can help you avoid that. License management helps you create a breakdown of costs associated with each software and its costs. You can use this information to identify costs that are unnecessary and cut down on them.


You will now be able to get a clearer picture of your budget and costs per user, and thus manage it better. Creating targeted reports can help you improve the overall finance of your company as well.


While your tracker and management system can greatly aid it, this kind of specific tracking is only possible to do manually. Decide beforehand what you need to analyze and use your tracker or management system as tools to generate reports.


5. Create reminders

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The natural next step to creating a database and inventory of all your license management is to use the information to create appropriate reminders. The most common reminder when it comes to software licensing is the renewal of the subscription.


Some renewals also require you to submit audited or other information regarding the usage of the software. Creating detailed reminders helps you prepare for the needed documents beforehand.


Create reminders that allow you ample time to prepare for renewals. Reminders can also be set up for filing for audits or the regular upkeep of your software solutions, and not just renewals. Creating reminders for all things licensing also helps you stay stress-free in that department.


6. Prioritize license management


Software license management has grown to become a necessity in recent times, especially for growing firms. However, it often gets restricted to creating and managing license databases. It’s important to incorporate license management in the overall plans of your company management.


It will help you allocate needed resources in the form of tools, personnel, time, and money to maintain functioning license management. It will also help connect it with the rest of the company’s management.


You can work toward establishing proper procedures that can help employees contribute to maintaining the database. Creating a policy will prove to be a huge step toward standardizing license management and procedures.


Conclusion

Most companies in operation today rely on technological advancement partially or fully for smooth operations. Using software assets on a large scale has mandated a need for license management at an organizational level.


Working toward it requires an organized and operational framework. You may enlist the help of a software license tracker or do it manually. The goal should be to create a flexible database of your licensing information that tracks licenses seamlessly and is in compliance with regulations.


Let us know in the comments what are your tips and tricks to track software licenses.

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