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$247 Average software waste per user

software waste

1E reports average $247 software waste per user

1E have published some interesting research into the volume of unused software in large organizations.

Their analysis is based on reviewing the actual usage data of 149 companies and their 4.6 millions machines.

The report is available here (Registration required).

The average waste per user was calculated as $247 per user.

How much would that equate to in your organization?

  • Average waste per business was said to be $7.4 million (based on around 30,000 machines per organization)
  • 30% of software was unused, 38% if including ‘rarely used’.
  • The average organization has 1,800 titles

Key drivers for addressing this waste are:

  • Cost avoidance (reclaim spare licenses and use the stock to fulfill requests, therefore avoiding new license purchases),
  • Reduce maintenance (due to lower number of installs) and
  • Lower audit risk (lower footprint of software and stock of surplus software to address/negotiation any shortfalls).
  • Surplus software is also a potential security risk and bloats the network and service desk with unnecessary overhead.

The research from 1E suggests that surplus software might be a defence against audits:

“Software asset managers tend to focus on ensuring license compliance. Whilst this is good business, it may result in the organization acquiring more software than is necessary” ~ Peter Beruk, 1E.

This is echoed in our research from earlier in 2016, which found that ‘76% of organizations admit to being over licensed in fear of audits’.

The report details titles most likely to be unused, by vertical. A great supporting resource for developing your ITAM business plan if it is focused on reclaims, you just need to add your annual spend per year and number of new requests per year to generate some great numbers. The report also reminds us that organizations can do reclaim tactically with a few selected high value vendors and make significant savings (i.e. You don’t have to reclaim every single software title to make a significant impact, you could for example just do some tactical reclaims of high value unused titles).

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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