What are we talking about?
There are two main costs from a compliance perspective that you should always consider:
  • Cost of buying required licences if non-compliance is identified.
  • Cost of dealing with an audit and defining a licence position
There is also the possibility of a fine being levied by the software authority in question.

Cost of buying required licences
If your organisation is found to be non-compliant by a publisher or one of the authorities, you will always have to purchase new licences to cover any deficit.

Of course it is impossible to put a figure on how much this could be, but here are some examples of what we have seen over the years:
  • Microsoft audits of up to 500 machine organisations - circa £100+ per machine
  • Microsoft audits of 500+ machine organisations - circa £150+ per machine
  • Adobe audits of 250+ machine organisations - circa £50+ per machine
  • Oracle audits of 1000+ machine organisations - circa £300+ per machine
  • IBM audits of 1000+ machine organisations - circa £250 per machine

The final figure depends on many factors, but rest assured that if your organisation has not had controls in place (Control SAM costs) and any degree of chaos is apparent, you could easily reach these kind of numbers.

Cost of dealing with an audit and defining a licence position
When one of the authorities requests that a licence position be created (read audit) then your organisation is probably in for a lengthy process that will cost a great deal in both management time and resource to uncover the relevant information.

Again it is difficult to put a figure on what your an audit will cost your organisation as it depends on many factors, but experience has shown that the following are more than typical scenarios:
  • Microsoft audits of up to 500 machine organisations - minimum of 25 working days
  • Microsoft audits of 500-1500 machines expect 50+ working days
  • Microsoft audits of 1500+ machines expect 75+ working days
  • Full software audit of 1000+ machine organisations - 100+ working days

Fines from authorities
This is generally a moot point in the industry as publishers actually don't like their customers being fined, but it does happen and if you are dealing with the BSA or one of the national compliance authorities then expect it at the end of an audit that demonstrates non-compliance.

Fines have varied dramatically over the years and are generally on the increase.  You will see them in the news as they happen, anything from £10,000 to £250,000 in the UK and even more in the US.

Conclusion

Please remember that all of the above should only be used as a guide as there are many factors to consider.  Some publishers are more helpful than others, some product sets are easier to quantify and every network and software estate is different with huge variety.

We now look at quantifying the benefits of SAM that your organisation can realise...