A certified software manager holds the official certification issued by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA®) and manages a company's software licenses. He or she conducts investigations to ensure the company follows the licensing terms issued by each software vendor and learns specific copyright laws to prevent legal issues. The certified software manager gathers information from audits and comes up with a software management plan that the company can successfully follow. It's also common for professionals holding the title to do more than manage software; for example, human resource managers, system administrators and legal professionals may hold the certified software manager title.
Evaluating local copyright laws and carefully examining licensing agreements are the first steps to managing software. In companies with a large number of computers, certified software managers spend much of their time ensuring that each computer's operating system and applications have valid licenses and that license numbers are used according to each product's agreement. Common types of software licenses investigated include network licenses, shareware, individual machine licenses and enterprise licenses. In addition to searching for invalid licenses, one also may try to reduce costs by ensuring that the company uses the most affordable licensing plan possible. This includes taking advantage of discounts for volume license purchases and sometimes replacing current application with more affordable alternatives.
Creating a structured software management plan is one of a certified software manager's major responsibilities. He or she creates a detailed policy that explains the proper use of software licenses and the methods for enforcing the software management plan. The plan identifies the specific processes for adding new licenses, transferring existing licenses and terminating unneeded licenses and also lists programs supported by the organization. It also should indicate the process for removing unlicensed software from computers.
Certified software managers use the software management plan as a baseline for the auditing process. They must continuously monitor the use of software licenses in the organization to ensure the plan is successful, and they may make updates to the policy when needed. Both legal compliance and the cost of software are monitored, so one may look for new licensing methods that can save the company money. The certified software manager also must communicate the plan to others and educate others about the company's policies for software management and any legal and business consequences that may arise from not following the policy.