Autodesk Software License Management: 4 Steps to Effective Compliance

By Robert Lakey, Commercial Director - Autodesk Division

Ensuring your organisation stays within its purchased allocation and within the Terms of Use as detailed in your Autodesk end-user license agreement is extremely important.

Failing to do so can result in your organisation incurring substantial costs.

Invalid software can increase the risk of software failure and exposure to malware, leading to hours of lost productivity.

Only genuine Autodesk products are warranted and supported by Autodesk. Purchase through an authorised reseller to get the performance and reliability you expect with access to the latest features, security updates, previous versions and more.

Here we outline some of the pitfalls that can lead to non-compliance and four steps to ensuring your organisation does not avoid using invalid software and protecting your investment.

Help prevent piracy and non-compliance:

It’s easy to unknowingly buy or use invalid software. Unauthorised sellers may sell invalid software at deep discounts, on auction sites, or bundle them with computer hardware.

Protect yourself and others by learning more about this important issue and by reporting non-compliance or websites you suspect may be selling or distributing unlicensed Autodesk products.

Even when you have procured your licensing from an Authorised Autodesk Partner there are some additional common issues that organisations must be aware of. Failing to understand these details could result in exposure to a License Compliance issue.

Examples, of where you may fall foul of the license agreement and thus may end up having to procure additional licensing at further cost are:

  • Overuse/over deployment of your licenses.
  • Trial licenses installed after 30 days.
  • Student & educational licenses on a commercial domain.
  • Usage of licenses across different legal entities &/or in different territories
  • Continued use of a license that may have been used as a trade-in to a new Subscription.
  • Incorrect use of home usage of licenses.
  • Previous usage rights (how many releases you can go back & have installed).
  • Continued use of maintenance benefits for maintenance that hasn’t been renewed.
  • This is not an exhaustive list & there may be other instances that could result in a license compliance breach.

4 Steps to Effective Autodesk License Compliance & Management

In today's dynamic software landscape, understanding the risks tied to inadequate software management is paramount. By addressing key factors such as maintaining an accurate record of licenses, precise inventory tracking, conducting regular audits, establishing clear policies, and promoting user acknowledgment, organisations can mitigate compliance risks.

Achieving and maintaining license compliance involves securely documenting entitlements, comparing licenses with installed software, and promptly rectifying discrepancies. Ongoing compliance is ensured through streamlined processes, stakeholder awareness, policy alignment, and continuous improvement.

Finally, optimising software licenses encompasses strategic reuse, periodic contract reviews, and informed decision-making during internal application development, thereby enabling organisations to derive maximum value while minimising costs and risks.

1. Understand your risk

In the dynamic landscape of software usage, comprehending the potential risks that can arise from inadequate software management is crucial. By addressing the following points, you can effectively mitigate these risks:

  • Record of Licences:
    Keeping an up-to-date record of all software licenses installed across your organisation's computers is fundamental. This inventory provides visibility into what software you are entitled to use and prevents accidental non-compliance.
  • Inventory Accuracy:
    Maintaining a precise inventory of all software in use within your organisation is essential. This inventory includes software deployed, licenses held, and usage patterns. This transparency ensures that your software assets are appropriately accounted for and managed.

  • Regular Software Audits:
    Conducting periodic software audits is key to confirming compliance with license terms. These audits involve reconciling the deployed software with the number of licenses held, identifying discrepancies, and rectifying them promptly to avoid legal and financial implications.

  • Policies and Processes:
    Establishing clear policies and processes for software procurement, deployment, and usage is crucial. These guidelines provide a framework for employees to adhere to, ensuring that software acquisitions and usage align with legal and organisational standards
  • User Acknowledgment:
    Having users sign documents that acknowledge their awareness and understanding of software policies and processes is important. This not only promotes accountability but also serves as evidence that users are informed about the guidelines they need to follow.

  • Risk Assessment:If any of the above questions are answered negatively, there's a potential risk of non-compliance. To address this, it's recommended to initiate a comprehensive software audit. This audit will uncover the extent of the compliance issue and facilitate the necessary steps to rectify it.

2. Achieve Licence Compliance

License compliance is a critical aspect of effective software management. Achieving and maintaining compliance involves several proactive measures:

  • License Documentation:
    Gather and securely store all documentation related to software licenses and usage entitlements. This centralised repository ensures that you have proof of your rights to use the software.
  • Inventory and Matching:
    Conduct a comprehensive inventory of your organisation's computers, software, and users. Compare the number of licenses with the installed software, ensuring alignment with license terms. Licenses often dictate the number of users who can access the software.
  • Rectifying Mismatches:
    If discrepancies are identified, it's essential to address them promptly. This can involve procuring additional licenses, reallocating unused licenses (if permitted by the license agreement), or reducing the number of users to comply with license terms.

3. Maintain Licence Compliance

Ensuring ongoing compliance requires a combination of practices, awareness, and continuous improvement.

  • Implement Processes and Policies:
    Establish streamlined processes and clear policies for managing software assets. These procedures make it easier to track and manage software in the future.
  • Awareness and Education:
    Create awareness among directors, IT staff, and users about the significance of software license compliance. Regular reminders can help maintain a culture of compliance throughout the organisation.
  • Policy Alignment:
    Review your IT policies to ensure they advocate for sound software management practices. Ensure that all employees understand and agree to these policies.

  • Process Enhancement:
    Continuously refine your requisition, procurement, usage, and asset retirement practices. These practices should evolve to meet changing needs and technologies.

4. Optimise your Software Licences

Optimisation of software licenses maximises value while minimising costs:

  • Reuse over Repurchase:
    Implement processes to identify opportunities to reuse software licenses before making new purchases. This approach aligns with the terms of the license and reduces unnecessary expenditure.
  • Regular Contract Review:
    Periodically review your license procurement and maintenance contracts. Adapt these agreements based on shifts in software usage patterns and changes in hardware setups.
  • Consider Development Costs:
    When developing new business applications internally, factor in software license options and costs. This informed decision-making process enables you to evaluate the financial benefits and drawbacks of different choices.

By focusing on these four areas – understanding risk, achieving license compliance, maintaining compliance, and optimising software licenses – organisations can establish a strong foundation for effective software asset management. This approach not only safeguards against legal and financial risks but also ensures that software resources are utilised efficiently across the organisation.