Australian Software Asset Management Association




Software Asset Management 

Record Keeping

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Record keeping is an important activity that needs to be continuously undertaken by the SAM team. There will always be a requirement to obtain records from a previous time. The reasons could be quite wide ranging from a simple procurement receipt to a large scale discovery for a litigation matter, for whatever reason the fact is that you will need previous records and you do not want to spend any additional time than is necessary, to find them.

Any SAM record needs to be checked to ensure they are accurate and complete prior to them being stored in the organisations record keeping system. Depending on the rules for record storage that have been specified by the record keeping system business rules, all related records should be stored together or are accessible from a related record. If the record keeping system supports searchable meta tags, ensure that the related documents have similar meta tags that will be identified when a Search is undertaken.

SAM records are not confined to just licence entitlements and actual usage. All contract documentation, vendor written and recorded verbal conversations, reseller written and recorded verbal conversations, licence agreements, quotes, offers and commitments. Governance documents used for internal organisation requirements for business planning, financial management, risk management, audit reports, Minutes and agenda’s, correspondence in and out, service level agreements and other important documents need to be stored in the record keeping system.

In practice all paper records should be converted to scanned digital records to improve accessibility and the length of time they can be kept for. A scanned digital record will be easier to manage, backup and is as authentic as an original record. The cost of disk storage is much cheaper than physical storage costs, less maintenance and virtually no support costs. With most organisations having implemented a record keeping system, this is a viable option to most SAM teams.

There is a requirement for the SAM team to implement its own policy, processes and procedures for record keeping and these should be aligned to the corporate policy, processes and procedures. It is important to decide what records will be kept and what records will be discarded. If you keep every record then unless your records are very well managed the records themselves could become very unwieldy and to find the right record quite a task in itself. There has to be a balance in what to keep and what not to keep. Legal and regulatory records should always be kept for the period of time dictated by the legal and regulatory framework.

The format that the records should be kept should be based on commonly used formats that are not proprietary of a niche software product. These records will need to be accessed in future years and the mechanism to access them should be commonly available. Testing of restoration of records from backup should be undertaken periodically. Record disposal should be undertaken that meets the security requirements of the data classification of the record.

In conclusion, record keeping is a very important activity that the SAM team should be undertaking on a continuous basis. The SAM team need to develop its own policy, processes and procedures in how it manages its records, what records it will keep and discard, how it will test the discovery and restoration of records, and how it will securely dispose of records.


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