Ticked by audits, IT managers rely on software to comply

Tracking software across multiple sites a challenge

With so many organizations struggling to meet stringent statutory and regulatory reguirements, IT managers are increasingly relying on software to secure a "tick in the box" when dealing with auditors.

For example, financial services firm Elders Ltd implemented a compliance solution to deploy and update business-critical applications for its fleet of 3750 computers and provide compliance reports for internal and third party audits.

According to Andre Laubscher, IT facilities manager at Elders Ltd, the company implemented ManageSoft as it is based on standards such as ITIL and ISO.

It effectively provides a compliance baseline, manages assets and provides license reconciliation.

"Since we deployed ManageSoft, we have been audited three times, twice by Adobe and once by IBM," Laubscher said.

"Each time we were able to extract the information we needed. We got a tick in the box from the auditors, which is important for a financial services organisation."

IT managers willingly admit that many organizations are still struggling with stringent statutory and regulatory requirements.

For Queensland's Hervey Bay City Council the challenge was trying to manage and track software licensing across multiple locations.

As a result the local government authority implemented Centennial Software's asset management solution, Discovery, which has also helped maintain a standardised operating environment.

With over 700 software applications deployed across desktops, the council faced an uphill battle in performing timely audits of its decentralised network, consisting of offsite servers connected and mirrored to council chambers and accessed through a storage area network (SAN) by five kilometres of fibre-optic-cable.

The council's support team leader, Rob White, said Discovery was selected due to ease-of-use of its graphical interface, and price to ensure ROI is in line with an existing 10 year budget plan.

Implementation was completed remotely by Data#3, with council providing access to its network via a remote access-key. White said the software was relaying data back to the IT department within hours of installation.

"We had a good understanding of the number of Microsoft software licenses we had previously purchased, but required clarification on how many of these licenses were actually being used," White said.

"We wanted the ability to quickly and easily rationalise software licenses, allowing us to more effectively identify and retire what wasn't in use without having to perform a manual audit.

"Following the initial audit, we were pleasantly surprised we were only about 15 licenses out from where we thought we were; now we have peace of mind knowing we are well on the way to being compliant."

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