Virtualised firms risk falling foul of software licensing rules, claim experts

Matt Ward, SAM manager at Marlow-based IT reseller Softcat, backed Robinson's view that software vendors are stepping up their licensing enforcement efforts, which has prompted many firms to act already.

"It's a license revenue stream for them at a time when people aren't buying [new products]," he said.

"Vendors are really banging the drum for software audits at the moment. They're on the phone, they're writing letters and people are taking it seriously," he said.

"We are trying to do health checks for every virtualised customer at the moment, because it is such a major issue," Ward added.

Furthermore, he said, while enterprise users tend to have more virtualised assets than smaller firms, that does not mean they are more likely to be audited.

"In the past two years, what we have seen is this [expand] from an enterprise space need to an issue for SMBs," said Ward.

"I helped a client last year that was being audited and they had 23 really doesn't matter what size you are now," said Ward.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.