"Total Cost of Ownership" of Software Licensing - including Audit costs

Hi, I am wondering if anyone has taken a TCO approach to software licensing - so include audit costs?

Several interesting results:

  • “Audit Rights” clauses can now be costed
  • “Audit Rights” in a tender submission means the tendered software costs don’t include all of the costs that need to be included in tender evaluations.
  • “Audit Rights” means the proposed licensing model is flawed - a better one won’t need “Audit Rights”.

Interested to hear if anyone has taken this approach?

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I have not taken the approach outlined, but will give it consideration. The third point is interesting, as most publishers do not provide the data or means to automate self-audit or prevent non-compliance, thereby necessitating compliance audits as we know them.

I do recommend that organizations track the time and effort for software license audits, particularly those imposed by a publisher or compliance organization. This information can provide some leverage in contract negotiations. And, in one case, my client presented the publisher with an invoice for what was considered an unwarranted audit. While they weren’t ‘paid’, there was some value provided in other forms.