Why failing to invest in Software Asset Management is risky business

Dec 16, 2015 |

New York and London, EMBARGO: 8:00am ET, December 15, 2015: 1E, the global leader in Software Lifecycle Automation, announced today the results of an independent study evaluating the current state of Software Asset Management (SAM).

The custom Technology Adoption Profile entitled “Prevent Hidden Risks with Enhanced Software Asset Management,” conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of 1E, examined 150 senior IT professionals across all verticals at organizations with more than 20,000 employees in the UK and the US. The findings reveal that SAM processes have failed to keep pace with changing technology and licensing models. According to Forrester, “Not only are businesses failing to protect some of their most expensive assets, but by failing to ensure visibility across all stages of the software asset life cycle, they are putting themselves at risk.”

The study yielded the following key takeaways:

  • Only 33% of organizations have any Software Asset Management (SAM) processes in place, despite global businesses and governments spending $579 billion on software and $361 billion on hardware. The study showed that more than 30% of respondents reported that they have an inconsistent or decentralized repository, and only 17% of organizations have tooling in place that accurately tracks and understands the complexity of the software deployed across their desktop estate.
  • Shadow IT is a significant risk to business – Business and employee purchases represent a staggering 40% of a firm’s technology spending. As individuals bypass centralized controls to purchase software, they expose the business to multiple risks:
    • Information and data security weakness – Shadow IT enables the installation of applications that are not maintained or patched, leading to security vulnerabilities. Employees and business leaders can install software that is inappropriately used or unlicensed to perform the tasks they need. This exposes the business to security threats via malware that may be included in unlicensed or unsupported software.
    • Costly and time consuming audits – Nearly 60% of businesses have to contend with four or more audits per year; 37% of firms experience one to three audits per year; 47% of firms said they deal with at least four to 10 audits per year; and at least 12% deal with 10 or more audits per year. As every CIO knows, audits are an expensive and resource intensive business. If individuals and departments are allowed to purchase software unchecked, there will inevitably duplicated, unlicensed or inadequately licensed technologies throughout the business.
    • Inefficiencies and lack of agility – 1E’s recent benchmark study into the Real Cost of Unused Software revealed that an incredible 37% of software goes unused, at a cost of $30bn to businesses in the US alone. Even if money were no object, this software sprawl leads to a drain on the IT department’s resources, which eventually slows down the whole business.
  • There has been a clear shift towards cloud-based services. Forrester research shows that today, 29% of an IT organization’s application portfolio is being deployed in the cloud. Organizations expect this to increase, with 42% of all applications deployed in the cloud over the next two years. In order to move to the cloud, IT decision-makers must understand what, where, and how much software has been deployed and is in use.

Ultimately, as the TAP report concludes, effective SAM is the only way to understand and take control of your software estate. AppClarity, 1E’s Software Asset Management tool, provides a precise and straightforward view of the installed and active software across the enterprise. Automated processes measure application usage and unused or prohibited software, and allow licenses to be redeployed as needed.

Enhancing SAM’s capabilities improves IT leaders’ ability to defend against software audits and Shadow IT by understanding the software that is within their ecosystem. This understanding in turn empowers IT leaders to make better decisions, to increase their negotiating ability when it comes to audits, and to drive cost efficiency, opening up time and resources to invest in innovative technologies.

Amy DeMartine, Senior Analyst at Forrester and Peter Beruk, SAM subject matter expert at 1E will share tips on the best way to kick-start a Software Asset Management program in a live webinar at 11.00 AM ET / 4.00 PM GMT on Wednesday, December 16, 2015. Watch now to learn more

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