Two-third of companies in the dark over software licenses

Nearly two-thirds of companies still have no clue about what software is being used in their organisations, according to a new survey.

The study carried out by research company Vanson Bourne, found that out of 100 IT decision makers, 62 per cent of them had no idea how many software licenses their organisation used.

The problem appeared to get worse the bigger the company was. The research found that 63 per cent of IT decision-makers in companies with more than 3000 employees had no clear idea of what software was in use compared to 54 per cent in companies with between 1000-3000 employees.

The survey, commissioned by independent business and technology consultancy Centrix, found that companies are still failing to implement processes that would allow them to manage and control software in use within their organisation.

Lisa Hammond, chief executive of Centrix, said that pressures relating to compliance and the need to drive business growth meant that company executives have to maintain a tighter rein on their technology investments and plan purchases according to "how much the organisation needs to achieve objectives."

"The survey shows a big discrepancy in what companies purchase and what they actually use, which can lead to significant budget wastage," she said. "We estimate that by undertaking an independent software asset management audit, an organisation with 5,000 full-time equivalents can achieve savings of up to 2 million."

Hammond said the industry has a responsibility to raise awareness of software asset management and the significant business benefits it can deliver.

"Software promotes business innovation; but only when an organisation is in full control of its software assets can it begin to accurately measure the returns that software is delivering back to the business," she said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.