The UK could save £1.7 billion a year by reclaiming unused software licences, says 1E
Organisations are wasting billions on software licences, with the average PC holding £432 worth of unused software, according to research from IT company 1E.
One fifth of software products become unused “shelfware”, and virtually no-one is organised about re-using wasted software licences, according to a survey of 500 organisations in the UK and America jointly carried out by Opinion Matters. The study was commissioned by 1E, an IT company focused on efficiency, which is expanding its attention to software waste, having previously focused on IT energy waste.
Unused software is a waste of money
Around £1.7 billion is wasted each year by organisations buying licences for software that is are not needed, or where the company already has a licence but is not using it, said Geoff Collins, product manager at 1E.
“It’s like the Wild West out there,” said Collins. Those companies that try to keep track of anything tend to use unreliable spreadsheets, and are running two risks: committing theft by using unlicensed software, or wasting money by buying licences that are not used.
1E’s answer is AppClarity, an asset management product that takes a simple approach. “This is not a complex product like HP Asset Center or CA ITAM,” said Collins, explaining that these heavyweights may take three years to slim down the whole enterprise’s software inventory.
Instead, 1E wants to hit the simpler task of software on PCs. It takes an inventory, measures which software is actually used frequently, and then reclaims unused licences to a pool for future use, while warning about software which is installed but not licensed.
It prompts the user to agree to actions, listing the savings that they can make by turning in unused or little-used licences. Savings are reported centrally and – in some cases – companies may find that the unused licences an cancel out the unlicensed software, said Collins.
For 1E’s research, Opinion Matters spoke to 250 people in each of the UK and the US. The resulting report is endorsed by the Federation Against Sofware Theft (FAST) and the US body IAITAM.