Q:

How do you track software licenses?

A:

Quick Answer

To track software licenses, perform a periodic audit of the software installed and running on each computer. Depending on the number of computers on which you're tracking licenses, opt for manual software audits, or use auditing tools.

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Full Answer

Periodic auditing of computers helps track installed software licenses, eliminating the risk of not paying license fees or paying fees for software no longer in use. Implement software asset management practices to recognize existing software, identify where it's running and determine whether it's being optimally used. To start tracking licenses, take an inventory of the software on hand. Organize all software documentation and licenses, and create standards and guidelines for software in use. Segregate executable software and non-executable software for easier documentation.

Once documentation is complete, establish a structure to assess, track and control installed software. Some software publishers provide tools to track their software, making the process of counting bulk licenses simple. Manual software audits are time-consuming if carried out on multiple machines and are also fraught with the risk of errors. To determine whether existing licenses need renewal, use a software license tracking tool that tracks user and device licenses and collects data on how well the software is being used.

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