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Failing an IBM software audit is incredibly easy as any SAM knows. To avoid future problems it helps to understand the most common reasons for failure. Here are four we see regularly. 

1. Failing to keep records

Organic network growth means that your business acquires software at a phenomenal rate. But in between purchase and installation, license records can go missing – assuming they are even created in the first place.

Without an accurate record of your license counts, an IBM audit failure is inevitable. You must maintain a record of every purchase – doing so will also help to avoid acquiring more licenses than are actually required.

Every new license needs to be recorded at the point of purchase to avoid these problems in future.

2. Failing to update records

record every license purchase, along with details of the initial installation. But as computing needs change and software is moved – or acquired – these records need to be updated. Unfortunately, the upheaval of a major software redeployment means that paperwork is classified as being of secondary (or lower) importance.

Where records are inaccurate, it becomes almost impossible to properly represent your company during an IBM software audit. You will not be able to demonstrate where applications are installed, how many licenses are in use, or accurately answer any questions raised by the auditors.

Licenses are in a constant state of flux – and the SAM needs to stay on top of every move or their records will quickly become outdated. Record every change, acquisition or disposal as quickly as possible, or your records will be virtually useless during an IBM audit.

3. Failing to oversee software installs

Access to the right technology, in the right place, at the right time is fundamental to improving the speed of your business. But the SAM is often left out of the loop, never made aware of software reinstallations or moves. And if they have no idea of where software is being used, or how many licenses are in play, they cannot hope to keep their records straight.

The SAM must assert their authority, making it a mandatory requirement to be notified of all future software de-install / re-install projects. Even if the SAM is not involved in the planning or execution of the project, they can at least keep their records up-to-date.

4. Failing to stay abreast of contract changes and updates

The end of every software contract brings with it a number of headaches. But while the SAM is busy trying to negotiate the best possible headline price, IBM is trying to maximise revenue elsewhere.

You may find that the terms of use for a particular application change, or that the annual maintenance cost increases more dramatically than in previous years. Whatever those changes are, you must stay on top of them. Assuming that everything will be approximately the same is a great way to fail your next IBM software audit.

Be proactive – and don’t be afraid to ask for help

When it comes to IBM audits, the onus is on your business to prove that license counts and usage terms are being adhered to. Keeping, and maintaining, good records will be essential to passing your next audit.

Managing all of your business software licenses is a complex undertaking – far too much for one person to do alone. Never be afraid to ask for support and advice from an IBM licensing expert like Origina who can provide best practice advice – as well as support service pre- and post-IBM software audit.

If you can avoid these four common mistakes, you are well on your way to passing your next IBM® audit. If you need any assistance in the meantime, please get in touch with us.

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