Draft Code of Conduct for Software Licence Audits
Almost all software licenses include a provision for the audit of a customer by the vendor to check whether usage is in compliance with the licensed rights. Globally, there are thousands of such audits every year, conducted by software vendors and by third parties on their behalf and billions of dollars change hands as a result.
There is no consistent approach to the conduct of software audits. There is considerable variation between vendors in terms of the identity of the auditors, technical approaches and tools, scope and intrusiveness, provision of entitlement information, approaches to resolution and more generally in the positioning of audits and the attitude to customer experience. This makes it difficult for customers to develop consistent management of their software investments. It adds to the tension between vendors and customers and disrupts the functioning of the software supply chain to the disadvantage of vendors and customers.
David will set out the case for a code of conduct for software audits and introduce the draft he has developed with colleagues at FTI Consulting. He will summarise the key requirements on the different parties and the areas which are prompting the most debate and hopes for a lively discussion on these.
David is a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting in London. He has 38 years of experience, mostly as a forensic accountant working on investigations and giving expert evidence on liability and quantum.
David’s areas of expertise include software and technology licensing and contractual rights of audit. He has been responsible for many thousands of software audits on behalf of major vendors, as well as projects for software customers looking to better manage their IT assets and audit risk. He works for both customers and software vendors.