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Level-Headed Business Strategies for Risky Times

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You face risks every day, in every aspect of your life, but in recent weeks and months, we have all been facing new risks and business decisions associated with the spread of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that it causes.

We get it. You don’t want to read yet another update on what one more company is doing to keep customers and employees protected. This post is not that — it is a reflection on how some of our customers are dealing with everyday business issues in this time of risk. We hope to share some strategies that may be helpful to your business.

As we see it, two of the main risks most businesses are dealing with right now are financial risk and stability risk. When you license software or technology or subscribe to a SaaS application in the cloud, you rely on someone else for a business-critical component of your business. And, if you’re a smaller company developing technology, you may be figuring out how to keep your business afloat.

The situation is changing daily and tremendously affecting markets. This is impacting huge enterprise companies as well as startups. The article How Coronavirus Could Impact Startup Funding from CB Insights outlines some of those risks. Every day, we become more aware of the ripple effect, and how changes in any one area affect other parts of our lives and our businesses. This article from The National Law Review discusses how Licensees and Licensors Need to Prepare for Potential Bankruptcies caused by COVID-19.

While many things will change tremendously, some things will remain the same — such as the need to move business forward. It’s important to recognize that less properly capitalized companies may go bust or get into financial or operational trouble. Often, enterprise companies rely on small software startups to deliver the most innovative technology tools. This is why many companies rely on software escrow (also known as technology escrow or source code escrow) as a risk mitigation strategy. Having an escrow agreement in place, backed up by verification, is a sound business decision for short money.

If you already have a software escrow agreement in place, now is the time to make sure all those little loose ends are taken care of. You don’t want to assume everything is running fine and find out too late that it isn’t. (While working from home, some people may have a little extra time to catch up and to get to those projects that always seem to be in the “I’ll do it later” pile.)

If risk mitigation is important to your organization, here are some questions to ask. (I won’t get into detail here, but I’ve linked to other posts that will give you more background.)

  • Do you have a software escrow agreement in place?
  • When was the last deposit?
  • Have you verified that the deposit contains what it should?
  • Is your designated contact up to date?
  • Are you using the online Escrow Management Center portal?


NCC Group Software Resilience has acquired Iron Mountain’s Intellectual Property Management (IPM) business. For more information on the acquisition, please visit our dedicated information hub, or contact Iron Mountain IPM.

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