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72% of IT Asset Managers see no value in Adobe vendor relationship

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the recent Adobe Licensing and Audit Behaviour Survey (now closed).

I asked ITAM Review readers to rate the nature of their relationship with Adobe.

Q. How would you describe the nature of your vendor relationship with Adobe?

  1. Legacy – left over from historical purchases or technology commitments (38.2%)
  2. Tactical – Commodity items, easy to switch to other provider (34.2%)
  3. Emerging – growing in our estate with increased innovation / usage (18.4%)
  4. Strategic – significant vendor that underpins our business  (9.2%)
Adobe Licensing and Audit Behaviour Survey

72% of IT Asset Managers see no value in Adobe vendor relationship 

I find it quite striking how badly Adobe is viewed by Enterprise organizations with 72.4% rating them as either a commodity item or something they are stuck with.

In terms of Adobe Licensing and Audit behaviour it is clear from your feedback that whilst Adobe is attempting to make their licensing programs simpler they do a very poor job of communicating changes. According to some readers they appear to revel in the confusion that their licensing creates for their own commercial gain.

More details to follow over the next few weeks.


  • n = 100
  • ITAM Review readers were surveyed in February/March 2013
  • Countries = 20 (United States 39%, United Kingdom 22%, Australia 6%, Canada 5%, Denmark 4%, Netherlands 4%, Other 20%)
  • 76% Classed themselves as ‘End User’ business consumer of Adobe products
  • 24% Classed themselves as companies selling licensing or ITAM related products, services or consultancy
  • Results for the Vendor relationship data above are based on ‘End User’ profiles only

See also – How to Segment and Prioritize Vendors and Suppliers

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.


  1. Martin Chalkley says:

    I am less surprised by the view on Adobe being either a tactical or legacy vendor. Their common / mass use toolsets (flash, acrobat) are more aimed at facilitating business than underpinning business direction; possibly those people placing them in the tactical / legacy quadrants do not heavily utilise the rest of the Adobe product range.

    I suspect that those who consider Adobe in the strategic quadrant are heavier users of the high productivity Adobe products, such as Photoshop, Connect, Illustrator and the like. Do you have a breakdown of the Adobe Apps in use by the respondents to the survey.

  2. John Tomeny says:

    Martin, I noticed that the article indicates that “76% Classed themselves as ‘End User’ business consumers”. I’m curious whether you received response from both commercial and academic customers, and if so, whether there are noticeable differences in their responses. Adobe has been known historically to practice different business behaviors for these markets (and even differently between higher ed and K-12). But there may be emerging trends that suggest more unified business practices in these different markets going forward.

    Did your survey provide any insights?

  3. Hi John, good point but I did not dig into vertical sectors.

  4. itsmreview says:

    If IT Asset Managers only use free flash tools or low cost items – would they really be on the radar?

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