When compared to businesses, software licensing in the education sector is often less costly. Site-based licensing allows for software to be deployed through an entire campus, even multiple campuses, and will likely be heavily discounted… but user agreements, contracts, and rules for compliance are just as strict. And that means if a software vendor finds a breach of contract, that institution is subject to a fine.
Software vendors look more kindly on education institutions, and so fines for non-compliance tend to be lower than those received by businesses that are found to be under-licensed. On the surface, this should put universities and colleges at an advantage, however with relatively smaller IT budgets, the impact of a fine could be just as devastating. In a study conducted by EduServ and License Dashboard, it was revealed that more than half of FE and HE institutions are not using Software Asset Management to understand how staff and students use software, putting them at serious risk of non-compliance.
In order to stay on top of software spend, be prepared for a software audit, and better manage software licenses, higher education and further education institutions must turn to effective SAM:
Step One: Take a full inventory – The purchase records for all software must be collated and cross-referenced with usage policies and matched with what is actually deployed and used across campus.
Step Two: Review discounts – Vendors offer educational software packages at discounted rates, and so to ensure the IT budget is being put to best use, universities and colleges must take full advantage of these offerings.
Step Three: Start managing software licenses – Implementing a SAM tool to manage software assets offers accurate software license management and a reliable source of license and user information – there are providers that offer discounts for academic institutions.
With outsourcing services and SaaS, virtualisation, and infrastructure modernisation, the way the education sector uses and accesses software is transforming. To stay compliant, an accurate record of deployment and usage is essential.
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