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Study shows Crystal Reports, Visual Studio, AutoCad, Project and Visio most likely to be unused

As SAM pros we all hear about the value of identifying unused software.

A recent study from 1E has examined the applications most likely to be unused in an organisation. The study is available here (no registration required).

If you are looking for cost savings: This article can help you identify your low-hanging fruit shortlist.

In conjunction with the ITAM Review, 1E are hosting an event in London on April 21st from 4pm which will discuss three ITAM related topics, including the benchmark study and Reclaim. End users are welcome to register for the event using this link: http://info.1e.com/it-asset-management-essentials.

The sessions will be hosted by Subject Matter Experts, and I’ll MC the event and referee discussions on the topics after each presentation. Snacks, beer and wine are of course on hand! If you are in the area, do drop down and join us.

33% Shelfware

Source: 1E

Source: 1E

The paper is based on data from over 1.8m desktops across 74 companies and took over two years to compile. According to the IT Analyst team which put the study together, on average 28% of software hasn’t been used in more than 90 days and a further 6% hasn’t been used in 30 days or more – that’s 33% of software which your company has paid for, which isn’t being used on the machines it is deployed to. That adds up to a LOT of waste. (Actually to $7 billion for the top 35 titles).

Buffi Neal, IT Financial Analyst for 1E:

“If you remove a $300 piece of software, the vendor isn’t going to come out and write you a check for $300 – unfortunately the savings doesn’t work like that.”

According to Buffi there are three main areas where software, once reclaimed, provides savings:

  1. Cost avoidance by reducing the volume of new license purchases
  2. Maintenance reduction and avoidance
  3. Reduction of Audit risk, Power in EA/Suite negotiations

Just taking into account the top 35 titles, the average value of unused software is $224 per employee in the US and £154 in the UK. How much of that money can be actually saved?

Source: 1E

Source: 1E

1. Cost avoidance by reducing the volume of new license purchases

The 1E IT Financial Analyst team have identified that depending on factors like company growth (or reduction), industry sector and hardware refresh rates – software purchasing normally increases by 10 to 12% per annum. “It seems odd, but the data shows that even in companies where employee numbers drop, software purchases still increase,” says Neal. Even at a conservative reclamation rate of 75% of unused and minimal purchase rate of 10% annually, purchase avoidance due to reuse of harvested software is estimated to be greater than $182 per user.

2. Maintenance Reduction and Avoidance

20% is the typical rate for software maintenance costs. As such, companies are paying $45 or so per user in maintenance on software that isn’t being used. Reclaim can eliminate a portion of that cost. Additional maintenance will be avoided on purchase reduction, realising an additional estimated $37 per user over 3 years.

3. Audit Risk

A number of the titles which have the highest rates of “un-use” are commonly audited. For example, the data shows that > 51% of Attachmate Reflection X installations are not actively used. In the event of audit by a vendor, you are typically liable to pay for under-licensed software on the basis of installation, not use. If you are actively Reclaiming software, you are less likely to be over deployed or over licensed. The value of improved compliance or reduced audit risk is hard to quantify, but it certainly has a value. Buffi points out that “Just looking at the letter A, Autodesk, Adobe and Attachmate all perform audits frequently, those vendors all show up in the top 10 list for under used software, and their applications can be quite expensive. Customers gain significant benefit in terms of reducing audit risk by ensuring Reclaim and associated reduced installation counts is a business as usual activity”.

Conclusion

Unused software will lead to waste – and about 28% of software is unused. The good news is, if you implement an active Reclaim policy, combined purchased and maintenance avoid is estimated to average $73 per user per year. Spanning 3 years, $182/user can be recouped. Those numbers quickly add up to something which IT Asset Managers and their colleagues in Endpoint computing and IT Operations should be collaborating on to improve the software waste situation in their organizations.

In conjunction with the ITAM Review, 1E are hosting an event in London on April 21st from 4pm which will discuss three ITAM related topics, including the benchmark study and Reclaim. End users are welcome to register for the event using this link: http://info.1e.com/it-asset-management-essentials.

The sessions will be hosted by Subject Matter Experts, and I’ll MC the event and referee discussions on the topics after each presentation. Snacks, beer and wine are of course on hand! If you are in the area, do drop down and join us.

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

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