IT directors need to be wary of sales techniques such as over-licensing and default installation of expensive software modules, analyst firm Ovum has warned.
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In interviews with 120 organisations across Europe and the US, users reported problems with suppliers offering volume licensing discounts with attractive finance schemes.
For buying more licences than needed, users were offered deals that meant the IT department kept within its annual budget, said David Mitchell, software practice leader at Ovum.
"The consequences for the user organisation are that it may potentially have acquired a volume of software that will immediately become shelfware, and that future budgets have been needlessly wasted," Mitchell said.
Users also need to ensure that the software installed and used is what has been paid for. Mitchell said suppliers often install less-common components by default.
Alternatively, installation programs install all the software, both licensed and unlicensed, and then provide the supplier with facilities to track usage.