Software audits: Some 61 percent of organizations do not monitor for unused software on servers, PCs and laptops
1E has today announced the findings of research looking at how effective businesses are at managing their software licenses and usage. The research shows that, although the number of software vendor audits businesses are exposed to is on the increase, the majority of firms only have limited visibility into what software is actually being used across their IT estates. With businesses unable to pinpoint the exact applications that are being used on their desktops, laptops and servers, they are prone to over-spend on software licenses in order to avoid the fines levied as a result of failed software audits.
Our survey of 250 IT decision-makers across the UK, USA and France, conducted by Vanson Bourne*, found that 30 percent of UK IT decision makers still rely on ad-hoc and manual methods to track software usage. This is despite 71 percent of UK firms reporting that a software audit has been carried out within the company at least once by a software vendor in the last 12 months, and 46 percent revealing they have been subjected to multiple software audits. The research suggests that there is likely to be thousands, if not millions, of pounds worth of preventable and on-going costs associated with unused software or ‘shelfware’ within organizations.
Key overall findings from the survey include:
- 76 percent of all organizations surveyed said were the subject of a software license audit in 2012; the figure for UK organizations was 71 percent
- 52 percent of all organizations have received more than one software audit, with 17 percent stating they had been audited more than five times in twelve months; for UK firms the figures were 46 percent and 10 percent respectively
- Less than half of respondents (49 percent) said their organisation used a tool that could identify unused software on PCs and laptops. The figure for UK organizations was lower still, at just 45 percent. An even smaller number stated that their tool could also pinpoint unused software installed on servers (39 percent of all organizations; 37 percent in the UK)
- 32 percent of organizations cite server virtualization as having the greatest impact on software license management
Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E, said that these figures highlight the business challenges associated with software license management:
“Software licensing represents a major cost, is an administrative burden and a hidden liability for many organizations, with this research clearly showing it is consuming far too much of the IT budget than is necessary. Software vendors are wise to the fact that organizations are struggling to get a handle on their software licensing, so today, it is no longer a question of if they will be audited, but when, and vendors are actively using the threat of these software audits as sales opportunities.
“Software license management is getting harder too. Getting application licensing right is hard enough in the physical world, but in a world of desktop and server virtualization, organizations are faced with a whole new level of complexity. It’s clear that organizations need to get a grip on what exactly they are using and have the ability to compare it to what they need from both an operational and compliance standpoint in order to remain efficient and competitive.”
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*Survey of 250 IT decision-makers conducted by Vanson Bourne in the UK, USA and France in November 2012