The State of the (Software) Estate: Waste & Risk Running Rampant in Enterprises

Introduction

C-level executives must be aware of and manage all waste that could impact the organization’s finances and operations. Software counts as one of the most critical assets to any organization, as applications run all corporate systems. Managing the software license lifecycle is an increasingly complex task – and the failure to do so properly can significantly expose a company to needless cost and risk.

Those costs and risks cover a lot of territory, from the financial risk of unbudgeted software license true-ups resulting from non-compliant software use – usually uncovered during a vendor software license audit. Or the cost of shelfware – when organizations buy more software than they need, or underutilize the software they have. Indeed, according to IDC, Software License Complexity Will Indirectly Cost Organizations an Average of 25% of Their Software License Budgets in 2016

Cybersecurity risk is also a significant and growing concern. The recent spate of cyber-security breaches, like the Sony and Anthem/BlueCross Blue Shield incidents, underscores just how vulnerable enterprises are to malware and hacker attacks. According to a recent IDC report, the more unlicensed software running on an organization’s network, the greater the malware risk. This is because hackers often can gain entry through malicious code they embed in software, like a Trojan horse, that employees intentionally or inadvertently download. Accordingly, an organization’s inability to effectively and continuously discover and inventory its software estate creates a significant risk vector, and accordingly must be factored into its Software Asset Management (SAM)/Software License Optimization strategy.

According to our survey, software waste is rampant – impacting the vast majority of enterprises. The numbers are stark and should serve as a wakeup call to CEOs, CIOs and CFOs regarding the need to implement the SAM/Software License Optimization processes and technology to reduce these risks and recover wasted investment in software.