The seven deadly sins that lead to an Oracle audit

Oracle is notorious for its confusing licensing policy. Robert Sheldon presents seven behaviors that can lead to an Oracle audit and costly audit fees.

Oracle’s licensing policies are notoriously vague and confusing. One misstep and you can end up owing thousands of dollars in audit fees. Yet Oracle software, with its dazzling array of management packs and pre-installed options, is easy to misuse; so easy in fact that you could find yourself out of compliance and sailing the piracy high seas before you can say “Black Bart.”

And don’t think Oracle won’t hunt you down. According to a recent Flexera/IDC report, 63% of the surveyed organizations were audited by a software vendor in the past 18 to 24 months — and 56% had to pay additional fees, many over a million dollars. Oracle is routinely recognized as one of the top auditors among software vendors, gladly exercising its right to ensure customers toe the line no matter how confusing the rules.

This prospect is particularly sobering when you consider that 85% of the surveyed organizations are out of compliance with their software licensing agreements. Chances are your company is one of the offenders, especially if you’re running Oracle products. Even so, it’s not always clear what sins you’ve committed to get there. Here we look at seven of the most common — and often deadliest — behaviors that can result in those contentious Oracle audits and exorbitant licensing fees that follow.

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