The Software Industry Research Board (SIRB) is backed by major software suppliers, including Microsoft.
John Lovelock, Fast chief executive, said, "The Software Industry Research Board (SIRB) aims to address and simplify the often diverse and confusing issues in the field of software asset management and software license management.
"A fundamental premise of the SIRB is to ensure that it has a clear understanding of end user perceptions and concerns, and to work with its members to both educate and assist in the adoption of best practices in managing software assets."
The SIRB has hired research firm IDC to conduct a survey of both private and public sector organisations to assess their current understanding of licensing practices, their attitudes towards software acquisition, and to understand where they can make changes to benefit from more cost-effective and risk-free software.
"Software asset management and IT governance initiatives are taking up more CIO and IT manager time," said Fred Broussard, an analyst at IDC. "This initiative can help narrow the gap between the major vendors and the end user community in the efficient management of software, by highlighting how better management enhances end-user and IT productivity."
The research project will be concluded in July, and will be used to underpin further SIRB initiatives in software management.