Guidelines for Effective Software Management

Note: This document is intended for use as a reference by departments and student bodies of the University. The word “entity” denotes department or student body in this document.


  1. Assess your entity’s software needs
    Conduct regular software reviews to update the current software inventory and project the future needs of your entity.
  2. Identify the appropriate software for each computer
    Based on the software review and additional user input, decide the appropriate software profile for each computer in your entity. Include software for operating system, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database management, and other educational needs. Also observe the university software standards as appropriate.
  3. Commit your entity to supplying properly licensed software
    Make the commitment known to all members of your entity. Stress that unauthorized software duplication or illegal use of software is a serious offense: it is against the law and the university policy.
  4. Deliver software to users when they need it
    If a software is to be for purchase, make the process of authorization and ordering as short as possible so that the software can be delivered to the user in the shortest time possible. Otherwise, the user may resort to using an illegal copy of the software.
  5. Anticipate reasonable user needs and plan ahead
    Be alert to the change in software needs such as the increase in number of users, and the need for software upgrades and new applications, etc. Plan budget to meet the changing needs.
  6. Set realistic budget for software
    When budgeting for hardware purchasing, you must also budget for all the software products that will be used on the hardware.


  1. Make sure original software is protected
    Set up precautionary steps to control the distribution of software media of your entity. The single most effective means of preventing illegal copying is to meet legitimate needs with legitimately-acquired software.
  2. Designate a member to be the “compliance officer” responsible for ensuring proper software use in your entity
    The responsible individual could be a member of your entity with sufficient seniority to be able to give appropriate directions to other members and carry out random checks from time to time.
  3. Track software acquisition in a software register
    Identify all computers in your entity and record information such as location, authorized users, brand, model, and software profile for each one of them. Maintain files with the actual software license agreements as well as invoices and other documents showing their legitimate acquisitions.
  4. Inspect the software in use to ensure that they are all legitimately acquired and that they are duly recorded in the software register
    Take random inspections from time to time. If illegal software products are found, remove them from the computers and take appropriate steps to prevent the situation from happening again.


The above information only serves as a reference. The information does not constitute legal advice in anyway. The Information Technology Services Centre does not accept any liability for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any information or omission in this document.


User Support Service
Information Technology Services Centre
Version 2, May 2010