Software Escrow Guardians is an escrow agent and holds source code for in-production software as well as for in-development software.
Software Escrow is a service where an independent party, the escrow agent, holds a copy of an application's Source Code on behalf of the software user and the software developer. If the Software developer cannot support the application, (for example, bankruptcy), the Source Code is released to the Software User. The Software User can then make modifications to the software as they see fit.
Why put source code in escrow:
risk mitigation - protection of the licencee in the event the software house fails;
improve sales - assures purchasers that they have access to the source code should an escrow release event occur
When should you put source code in escrow:
When the cost of an escrow service is less that the cost of not being able to modify your critical corporate applications.
Software escrow should be part of your business continuance strategy.
Questions to ask:
What happens if the company supporting your mission critical software cannot support that software any more?
Do you have an escrow clause in your software development agreement?
Do you have an escrow clause in your software licence agreement?
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