Software Asset Management works both ways, says FAST | FAST

Software Asset Management works both ways, says FAST

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Corporate UK is poorly equipped to deal with the challenges of software licensing, leading to chronic under and over-licensing. Effective software asset management (SAM) works both ways and will ultimately benefit your business, reminds the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST).

Data released this week has revealed the true extent of software licensing in the UK, pointing to the issues of both over and under-licensed software. According to a study by IDC, over half of enterprises say that 11 per cent or more of their application spend is underused. At the other end of the scale, a study commissioned by the BSA has revealed that 30 per cent of UK SMEs are under-licensed.

According to Alex Hilton, Chief Executive of FAST, UK businesses are yet to fully realise the significant benefits that can be achieved through tools and process implementation for an effective SAM solution, such as reduced compliance risks, controlling software costs and reduced labour costs to manage software:

“It is often thought that software licensing is a battle between user businesses and the software publishers, with the former grudgingly giving in to the coffers of the software vendors. But, as these studies demonstrate, the picture is much more complex, with both over-licensing and under-licensing rife. Companies cannot financially afford to continue to over-purchase software licenses in this climate and legally cannot risk under-purchasing as it is de facto an actionable infringement. These have to be the most compelling arguments for adopting effective SAM policies in the current market.

“One of the biggest challenges faced by enterprise companies today is the management of their software license estate not just to ensure against non-compliance, but to proactively drive best value in procurement and reuse. By necessity, corporate users endeavour to demonstrate ethical and efficient working practices but increasingly pressure from the biggest and most strategically important software vendors, who want to be correctly paid, is causing software compliancy to become a critical business issue,” he continued.

Philip Merson, COO at Concorde Solutions, added: “Many organisations are poorly equipped to deal with the challenges of software licensing in simple environments, let alone with complex virtualised or cloud models.  This makes the challenge of unlocking the vast opportunity it represents a daunting task. To complicate matters further, confusing market messages also leads to the fear of deploying the wrong solution. This cloud licensing enigma means that customers could be non-compliant through the use of hosted software, meaning that, more than ever, businesses need to stay on top of their licensing arrangements.”

Alex concluded: “It’s important that businesses stop cutting corners and ensure that software compliance remains firmly on the agenda. It is far cheaper and easier to keep control of your IT estate and software licensing at the very beginning rather than to cut corners and get caught out, either by a whistle-blower report, or by an inevitable licence audit.”