How to implement measures to improve your Microsoft software audit readiness

Audit is not a one-day event and requires thorough preparation. Knowing that it is time-consuming, it is prudent as an organization to have your entire systems thoroughly checked to avoid non-compliance.  

Your expenses as an organization are likely to increase if you do not handle your audits well, as it can lead to fines. It is therefore important to implement proactive measures to improve your Microsoft software audit readiness.  

Here are some key proactive measures you can implement as an organization to ensure the right measures are in place as you prepare for the audits. 

1. Implement strong software asset management (SAM) processes 

Having robust software asset management processes in place can greatly improve your organization’s readiness for a Microsoft software audit. These processes involve tracking and managing all aspects of software assets, including procurement, deployment, usage, licenses purchased, licenses in use or otherwise and licenses nearing or due for retirement. By implementing such processes, your organization can maintain accurate records and easily demonstrate compliance during an audit.   

Also implementing a robust SAM process can lead to cost savings opportunity. Your organization gets to avoid overspending on unnecessary licenses. This is because you know how your users are using licenses and are they adequately meet their needs. Those licenses that are not adding to the productivity of your organization, you can do away with them. This leaves your organization with significant cost savings in the long run.  

A well implemented SAM process also helps reduce security risks. This is done by ensuring that all software in your organization is properly licensed and up to date with necessary security patches. This helps to protect sensitive data from potential cyber threats or attacks.  

2. Educate employees on software usage policies 

Employees play a significant role in ensuring software compliance within an organization. Therefore, it is crucial to educate them on the company’s software usage policies and the consequences of non-compliance. This can help prevent accidental misuse of software and ensure that employees are following proper procedures for acquiring and using licensed software.   

The added advantage is that educating employees on software usage policies helps prevent any potential security breaches or data leaks. Many times, employees may unknowingly engage in activities that can put sensitive company information at risk, such as opening suspicious emails or downloading unauthorized software. By educating them on proper software usage protocols and security measures, they become more aware of their actions and can take necessary precautions, reducing the chances of a security breach.  

3. Keep records and documentation of licenses 

This is another important proactive measure you can adopt ahead of preparing for a Microsoft software audit. Keep thorough records of all software documentation and licenses. This includes purchase agreements, invoices, and proof of ownership for all installed software. Having this information readily available can help expedite the auditing process and demonstrate compliance with licensing agreements.  

Maintaining proper records of software licenses helps your organization track license usage and prevent unauthorized use or distribution.  

Proper licensing ensures that your organization has access to updates and support, especially in cases where critical security patches or bug fixes are released by Microsoft.  

Processes to software documentation and licensing: 

  • Start early 

It is best to start documenting your obtained licenses for the software as early as possible in your organization. This helps in avoiding any delays or missing out on vital information due to pressure when auditing begins.  

  • Maintain accuracy 

Ensure that all information recorded in software documentation and licenses is accurate and up to date. Any discrepancies or outdated information can lead to compliance issues and potential legal consequences.  

  • Centralize records 

Store all software documentation and licenses in a central location to ensure easy access and consistency of information. This also helps in tracking the usage of multiple software applications used by your organization.  

  • Regularly review and update 

As your organization grows so will license purchase and usage. It is important for your organization to regularly review and update your license documentation to stay compliant with legal requirements. Also keep track of when licenses are set to expire and renew them in a timely manner to avoid any disruptions in software usage.  

4. Implement strict access controls 

By implementing strict access controls, your organization can ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive information and systems, making it easier to comply with Microsoft’s auditing requirements.  

Implementing strict access controls improves data security. With access controls in place, your organization can limit who has access to what information and resources based on their roles and responsibilities within the company. This reduces the risk of unauthorized individuals accessing sensitive data and helps prevent potential data breaches.  

Strict access controls also help your organization maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. Microsoft has specific guidelines and regulations that organizations must adhere to, especially when it comes to data privacy and security. By implementing access controls, your organization can demonstrate its commitment to complying with these regulations, making the auditing process smoother.  

Let’s help your organization put in measures to improve your Microsoft audit readiness 

Our team of Microsoft licensing experts can help your organization do thorough work to gather the right information ahead of your audit. When the right information is gathered, it makes the entire auditing process easily accessible.  

We will make available our years of experience for your organization to leverage on to better understand and manage your software assets and ensure compliance with licensing agreements. This not only helps to avoid costly penalties but also streamlines audits and reduces the risk of security breaches.   

Since using your Microsoft licenses is an ongoing process, we will also guide you with what to do for continuous monitoring and updating as you introduce new licenses.  This proactive approach not only saves time and money but also demonstrates your organization’s commitment to responsible and efficient management of valuable resources.   

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