Gartner Research

Address These Software Audit Challenges to Minimize Risk and Cost to the Business

Published: 20 October 2011

ID: G00218653

Analyst(s): Victoria Barber, Jane B. Disbrow


Software asset managers must understand the risks in software audits to improve the planning, management and execution of audits. Gartner has identified the most common questions that clients ask in these situations, and grouped them by the challenges they face.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview


  • Challenge 1: Organizations Find it Hard to Establish the Likelihood of Being Audited, and of Being Audited by a Specific Vendor
    • Are Audits Increasing Only for Large Enterprises, or Are Vendors Also Targeting Small and Midsize Businesses?
    • Does the Vendor Have the Right to Audit Me?
    • Does the Business Software Alliance, the Federation Against Software Theft or the Software & Information Industry Association Have the Right to Audit Me?
    • Can the Vendor Install Software to Be Used for Audits Without any Notification?
    • Action Item
  • Challenge 2: Organizations Are Unclear as to the Likely Outcomes of Audits
    • How Often Are Organizations Determined to Be "Out of Compliance" After an Audit?
    • Do Vendors Often Resort to Legal Action for Settlement If Clients Do Not Accept Their "Final Offer"?
    • Action Item
  • Challenge 3: Organizations Are Concerned as to How They Can Ensure That Audits Are Carried Out Effectively
    • Who Within the Organization Should Be Responsible for Working With Vendors on Audits?
    • Do Vendors/Auditors Bring Their Own Tools for Audits, or Are Organizations Obligated to Provide the Data Themselves?
    • Should I Allow the Vendor to Install Its Own Tools on My Networks and Systems?
    • How Do I Know If the Vendor Has the Right Information About My License Entitlements?
    • How Do I Know Whether I Am Correctly Identifying the Vendor's Software?
    • Action Item
  • Challenge 4: Organizations Often Fail to Close Audits Properly, Leaving Themselves Exposed to Further Risk
    • Once an Audit Is Completed and Everything Has Been Settled, What Should I Ask the Vendor to Do to Verify the Completion of the Audit and the Fact That any Compliance Issues Have Been Resolved?
    • Action Item
  • Challenge 5: Organizations Need to Minimize Audit Risk When Negotiating New Contracts
    • How Successful Are Organizations in Negotiating Audit Clauses Out of Software License Agreements and What Have Vendors Been Willing to Accept Instead?
    • Some Vendors Include a Clause in the Contract That Says the Customer Will Have to Pay the Cost of the Audit If Out of Compliance by More Than 5% or 10%. Shouldn't the Cost Be Capped?
    • Action Item
  • Conclusion

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