How to Overcome the IT Asset Challenges of Working Remotely

We are experiencing a sharp rise in employees working-from-home (WFH) forcing many businesses to reevaluate their software licensing and compliance. Without thorough licensing management, organizations aren’t able to ensure that they aren’t running afoul of their vendors and manufacturers. Licensing is complex and varied, and businesses may already have dozens of products they need to track.  According to Fortune, working remotely causes strain on IT. A software license management platform can help.


Changes in Infrastructure May Demand Changes in Software Licensing

Today, employees are working from home. They may be working on their home computer, remoting in through their laptop, or using cloud-based solutions. Regardless, companies need to be certain that their licenses provide for this. Licenses may need to be upgraded for remote work or virtualization, and additional licenses may need to be procured for at home solutions. Meanwhile, some licenses already allow for a single user on multiple devices.

Employees who have never worked remotely may be inclined to reinstall solutions on multiple devices or acquire new products without the appropriate commercial licensing. They will turn to Shadow IT and bring along all the threats that come with it: duplication of supported services, increased IT run-rate, threat of data loss, and more. This can be difficult for an organization to manage, as many businesses have not previously needed to oversee remote employees. Not only do employees need to be trained to work remotely, but organizations need solutions that can limit their risk.


The Consequences of Not Tracking Software Inventory and Application Usage 

Companies that are not compliant with their software licensing can face significant penalties. Software solutions may be deactivated, leading to a lack of productivity. The organization may find itself needing to purchase a large number of licenses at once to resolve the issue or may need to pay fines associated with poor compliance. Employees who are installing their own solutions, with their own licenses, may find themselves downloading malicious programs. Companies who want to avoid these issues need to take greater levels of control over both licensing and deployment.


The Expanded Responsibilities of IT Asset Managers 

Software Asset Managers are struggling with dealing with unknown personal devices and how they will be used for business according to the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, Inc. (ITAM). Most companies provide employees with a single desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device and the software licensing stays pretty straight-forward.  But there are some basic questions about software licenses when working remote: 

  • How many devices can you install the program on, Right of Second Use?
  • What are the Software Use and Restrictions?
  • Does your End User License Agreement (EULA) define a Designated site?  Some Adobe, Cadence and Microsoft Office products rights are spelled out in the EULA.
  • Can you discover a copy of company software on a personal computer?
  • Do you have tools to effectively track and manage License Keys and can deactivate and transfer it to a new computer? 


Using Software License Management for Better Compliance

A comprehensive, consolidated software license management platform makes it easier to reduce software license spending. Through better software contract and license management, an organization will be able to not only track its installations, but also optimize them. Further, software asset managers can eliminate future costs by managing software use and redeploying underutilized programs. It may be that an organization can reduce its costs by seamlessly integrating systems used for human resources, identity and access management with software asset management. With this integration software asset managers and service desks can manage the IT asset lifecycle. 

Organizations that fail to meet their responsibilities in terms of software compliance could find themselves facing tens of thousands of dollars in licensing costs and penalties. Vendors frequently engage in licensing audits, and if misuse is uncovered, the company can become liable. But organizations need to be able to support remote workers today, and they need to be able to support the varied licenses their remote workers might need.

Through software license management, companies are able to better track their licenses and products—and therefore better able to contend with the current rise in work-from-home employees.

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