The principle of cause and effect has been well documented in many walks of life, and so it should come as no surprise that within the realm of software asset management certain triggers can kick-start a flurry of activity within the Ivory Towers of many a software vendor.

So what three drivers can the lowly IT Manager watch out for to get his/her house in order?


Many software vendors will lick their lips at the prospect of a company going through a merger/de-merger. Typically, because of how IT is perceived as an OPEX (written off) expenditure within business circles, it is not viewed as an asset to be divided appropriately and accounted for. Additionally, the smaller organisation will be a new legal entity, and so not have rights to the existing agreement of the parent company from which it was spawned

Audited by other Software Vendors

The world of SAM is microscopic when compared to accounting, marketing or any other tranche of business you might care to mention. So if Vendor A has been knocking at your door and scored a sizeable settlement for an unkempt IT estate, word will get through the auditing community which could kick-start another vendor to come knocking.

Massive Growth, but no increase in software spend

Financial returns via the Inland Revenue/ IRS are matters of public record; a quick comparison of previous year’s returns compared to the latest financial year will determine that if vastly improved profits have not been proportionately matched by IT spend, then perhaps it might be time for an audit.

These are just three flags that an IT Manager can potentially watch out for to prepare for software vendor audits. In the immortal words of Mr Miyagi, the best way to avoid a punch is “not to be there”.

Jason Keogh is an internationally recognized subject matter expert in Software Asset Management (SAM) and a 20+ year veteran of the IT industry. Jason has a wealth of experience in desktop and datacenter technologies, particularly with giants Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. Jason founded the leader in the discovery inventory space, iQuate in 2002 and acted as CEO and CTO there until 2014. Jason is now VP of Product for 1E, the leader in Software Lifecycle Automation and leads the SAM vision for the company. He is a contributor to the IT Asset Management process standard ISO 19770-1, a co-editor of the Software Identification Tag standard ISO 19770-2 and the editor of ISO 19770-3, the new international standard for defining and managing Software License Entitlements. Jason is a regular blogger and an entertaining and thought provoking speaker who talks several times a year at SAM, ITAM and Procurement events internationally. Jason lives near Dublin, Ireland with his wife Alyson and their three sons.