J.D. Fox Micro Resource Center
Ensuring your systems have appropriate software licenses is an often-overlooked aspect of IT systems management. This means more than executives planning for and purchasing the proper licenses. It also includes oversight at the operational and technical level, to prevent users or even your technicians from downloading illegal software, putting your business at risk of civil penalties, public humiliation, and even criminal prosecution in some cases. Click here to read more about how software licensing works.
Another benefit of solid software licensing management is to ensure you pay for only the licenses you use. Good software auditing can reveal inefficiencies in your licensing model (in other words, licenses you paid for but are not using), and enable you to reallocate licenses or cancel unneeded licensing subscriptions to improve the utility of your investments.
On this page are links to some tools and resources you can use to get started with maintaining control over your software licensing. These packages all include hardware inventory as well as software license auditing, and most of the vendors listed here offer free trials. Also, since all of the products linked here are major software packages, unless you are an IT systems manager, you should seek support from an IT services professional in implementing any of the systems you find here that may be of interest to you.
Business Software Alliance
The BSA is a joint venture of dozens of major software and hardware vendors in the IT industry, for the purpose of fighting software piracy. Their main efforts involve educating the public on avoiding software piracy, advocacy in public policy, and assisting software publishers in catching and taking legal action against businesses that use unlicensed or stolen software.
If you are an owner or executive of a business, or an IT manager responsible for software license management, you should make yourself familiar with the information available on this site.
Software Asset Management for Individuals and Small Organizations
Belarc offers various products for managing software licensing on business computer networks. The link below will take you to their free inventory scan for personal use, which includes a list of all software on your computer, the license key used to enable the software, and when the software was last used. In addition to a general software inventory, you might also find this useful for recovering your license key if you need to reinstall a program or transfer it to another computer, but have misplaced the key since you first installed it.
The link below is for beITsmart, a Belarc product for managing software licenses for smaller networks). The page about beITsmart has not been updated for many years, but beITsmart does support Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012.
Next is Lansweeper, an asset manager for smaller networks, which you can download for free, but which offers a paid version for additional features.
Software Asset Management for Larger Organizations
The links below are for paid applications for managing, among other items, software inventory and licensing on your business network. They are all geared towards larger organizations with more than 50 computers.