Survey: Enterprises Are Wasting Money On Underutilised Software Licences

Enterprises are throwing money down the drain with ineffective software asset management regimes, according to the 10th annual State of the Software Estate report by Flexera Software. Here are the details.

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Managing software licences in large organisations can be a complex endeavour. You have to worry about software procurement, licencing allocation, and compliance and those are things that are often overlooked or mismanaged.

According to the Flexera report, 75 per cent of enterprises are out of compliance for at least some of their software and 44 per cent paid over US$100,000 in to their software vendors due to non-compliant software use. They also paid similar amounts over software licencing audits from vendors (for example, 61 per cent of companies underwent licencing audits from Microsoft).

But the more alarming statistic is that 93 per cent of organisations said they are spending money on software they are not using or are being underutilised. A quarter of respondents said that 21 per cent or more of their software spend is associated with software entitlements that are not used.

So it comes as no surprise that awareness for software asset management is growing with 81 per cent of respondents noting that managing software licences and usage is of high importance for them this year. After all, two-thirds of companies surveyed reported that their software budgets remain tight this year so they can’t afford to be blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars on non-compliant and underutilised software licences.

One way to tackle this problem is to review your product-use rights, that is, licencing entitlements that allow you to have multiple installations of a software under a single licence. This includes entitlements to use additional applications as well. For example, my company’s Office 365 licence allows me to install Microsoft Office apps on up to five computers. This is something to consider in a software asset management program.

Having an adequate software asset management program also plays a part in maintaining IT security within organisations. Around 73 per cent of respondents to the Flexera survey said they monitor their systems for unlicenced and unauthorised software on the network as they are likely to be out-of-date and vulnerable to security threats.

The bottom line is, enterprises need to improve management of their software assets through applying industry practices.

“The good news is that organisations are increasingly aware of the challenges around Software Asset Management and are growing more proactive,” Flexera said. “However as the survey result indicates, they have a long way to go.”

[Via Flexera Software Blog]


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