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Over a third of all software purchased goes unused, reveals new research from 1E


$30bn Wasted on Software in the US Alone

New York and London – November 10, 2015 : Global organizations are spending billions of dollars on software that is going unused, according to new data from Software Lifecycle Automation company, 1E. The findings have been revealed in a new report analyzing the results of a four-year study of over 1,800 software titles deployed on 3.6 million desktops, in 129 enterprises, across 14 industries.

The report, entitled “The Real Cost of Unused Software,” reveals the level of waste to be extreme, with a global average of 37%. In the US alone, where the waste is a staggering 37%, this amounts to $259 per desktop and a total of $30bn in wasted IT dollars.* To put that into perspective, $30 billion is how much the Borgen Project estimates is needed to end to world hunger.

Overall, the UK boasts the lowest waste with an overall average of 26%, which equates to £159 per desktop and a total waste of £5.7 bn. Whilst this is substantially lower than the US figure, it still shows that UK firms are still squandering over a quarter of their software spend. The report also reveals the biggest offenders when it comes to software waste by company size, industry and software title.

The statistics and financial implications may seem shocking, however the real costs to business are far more complex. The failure of organizations to keep a handle on their software estates exposes them to many other risks, including cyber-attacks on uncontrolled software and audits from revenue hungry vendors. If this really is the case, why are CIOs letting this slip?

The reality is, that faced with the seismic changes occurring as a result of digital disruption, CIOs are no longer concerned with driving down costs, but have instead turned their gaze towards adding value. Because of this, eliminating software waste, which is often seen as a cost-cutting exercise, has become less of a priority.

Jason Keogh, VP of Product at 1E, comments: “This in-depth report from 1E, confirms that unused software levels are extreme. However, the financial benefits of managing this better are just the tip of the iceberg. CIOs who are successful in adding value to their businesses get a handle on software asset management and embrace automation throughout the software lifecycle. Automating removal of unused software better enables companies to keep up with the pace of digital change, it will increase security, decrease patch time and effort, free up resources to work on innovation rather than basic tasks and do all of this while reducing cost.”

  • The 1E report, The Real Cost of Unused Software, is available for free download, with a related software waste infographic here.
  • Join our senior IT Financial Analyst Buffi Neal at our live webinar today, November 10, at 12 PM ET / 5 PM GMT, where she’ll breakdown the latest figures by industry and software titles.

Find out where your risks lie and provide your decision-makers with a concrete business case today. Download 1E’s Software Lifecycle Intelligence Tool free of charge without obligation. The tool provides access to two dashboards of data that reveal how your software estate measures up in terms of both risk and waste.

Media Contact

Namita Tendolkar,
Communications for 1E

[email protected]

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