Flexera/IDC research | FAST

Flexera/IDC research

- By Vincent Smyth, Senior Vice President EMEA,  Flexera Software.

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Consumerisation of IT projects such as BYOD and enterprise app stores have become a business priority. Such initiatives offer control not just over the apps and devices that employees use, but crucially over software expenditures. However, businesses appear to be compromising the economic benefits of their consumerisation of IT projects, defeating the very reason for their adoption. Latest research produced jointly with IDC reveals that more than 50 per cent of the 

organisations that are looking to implement app stores have no plans to undertake continual software licence optimisation – a sign that enterprises are failing to anticipate the licensing implications of their consumerisation of IT programmes. With vendor software audits on the rise, enterprises are exposing themselves to increasing unforeseen, financial risk of non-compliance.

This is despite the fact that the vast majority of respondents surveyed (79 per cent) are generally aware of software licence management and are doing at least something proactive to manage their traditional software estate.  In fact, 44 per cent of respondents have proactively implemented a software licence optimisation solution to ensure continual software licence compliance and reduce ongoing costs for software.

So then why are enterprises not extending the same level of software licence management preparedness to their consumerised IT environment? Worringly, 35 per cent of the respondents said they didn’t know how they’ll balance employee self-service via an enterprise app store, with software licence compliance and optimisation. Almost a quarter of respondents have no plans to do so either.

A major benefit of consumerisation of IT is that it gives employees better access to the applications they need to efficiently do their jobs. At the same time, greater access to software also means greater use and the potential risk of inadvertently falling out of compliance. This in turn results in unbudgeted penalties arising from audit true-ups by software vendors. 

Organisations must integrate their app stores with back end systems that automate essential IT business processes for software licence optimisation and application compatibility testing, packaging, deployment and compliance. 

Such an approach to app delivery and management delivers a truly self-service scenario that offers users access to a well-stocked repository of apps from any device and from anywhere – while pre-empting unexpected risks and costs of unforeseen software usage. Employees are demanding smooth iTunes-style access to enterprise applications, but IT remains accountable for software usage and hence must maintain control. An enterprise app store tightly integrated on the back end with an organisation’s software licence optimisation solution will deliver automated processes for fulfilment such as gathering approvals, enforcing licensing, delivering software to the user, verifying application installation and maintaining detailed audit trails. This will ensure that the requirements of both users and the IT department are met successfully.