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When it comes to managing software licences and assets, most companies focus on compliance – rather than cost-cutting. Organisations are overlicensing, buying more and more software in order to err on the side of caution. This can be an extremely costly mistake.

On the face of it, very few organisations have software asset management strategies in place, exposing the company to considerable financial risk. As long as software is bought and licensed legally, it’s forgotten.

Fearing being caught with unlicensed products, many organisations respond by buying even more software, ignoring the very real danger that it will never be deployed, used or add value. This results in unnecessary costs as companies are still paying maintenance fees for software they aren’t using, or purchasing additional licences rather than reallocating existing ones. Analysis conducted on a number of local organisations showed that at least 20%-40% of licences deployed are not being used – and definitely not reclaimed.

In the USA, unused licences represent $12.3 billion in preventable and ongoing costs, with a typical enterprise with 10 000 users having $4.1 million worth of unused software on PCs, costing $1.1 million annually in ongoing maintenance.

CIOs should be asking themselves, on a regular basis: “What do we own?” “What are we using?” And of course, “What do we really need?”

By deploying licence metering and tools that provide the ability to reclaim unused applications, companies can curb their unnecessary costs dramatically.

Software asset management tools should also be deployed and maintained to ensure licence entitlement and deployment remains in sync. 1E’s software effi ciency report of 2011 showed that 52% of enterprises used spreadsheets to record software licences, 12% use paper-based filing systems and 12% use nothing whatsoever. Keeping track of licences is the key to remaining cost-efficient.

In the end, there is no excuse for not having a software asset management strategy in place – there is technology that will do it for you.


Source: iWeek, 23 Januray 2013

About the author: Teresa Legg is director of sustainableIT

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