Procurement of licenses can play an important role in the on-going effort to track and manage software. Many organizations spend billions of dollars on procurement software but do not allocate funds to integrate that software with their Software Asset management tools.
The best way to track licenses is from the time they are purchased. From that point the licenses can be related to the installations they create and the puzzle starts to come together.
Software licensing agreements have grown increasingly complex, particularly among large vendors. It is important that the license is tracked properly based on the type of license that it is. For example, if the organization is paying per license and every PC has the application installed, then there could be a cost savings by switching to an enterprise agreement. On the contrary an enterprise agreement for an application used infrequently could be too costly.
There is also the issue of expiring licenses. For the past 30 years, nearly every prospective customer sought to ensure that a “perpetual license” was incorporated as part of their agreement. Now, some long-standing vendors are renegotiating their agreements to eliminate the “perpetual” provision, if one has survived; and some have moved to the cloud, which introduces a whole new licensing structure and complexity for cloud/subscription-based software. License renewals if left unmanaged could cause the organization to slip into non-compliance. It is important that the full terms of the licenses are managed to stay within the limits of compliance.