IT departments costing firms money

Companies risk paying over the odds for software or becoming mired in legal wrangles because of who they trust to negotiate IT deals.

Companies risk paying over the odds for software or becoming mired in legal wrangles because of who they trust to negotiate IT deals.

More than half of the 400 senior finance professionals surveyed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) claimed to leave the monitoring, auditing and policing of software to IT.

Only one in five included a software audit in their financial review. While over two thirds did have processes in place to manage their software assets, most checks were done manually by staff and most only checked them once a year. Only 4% said they monitored software every month.

‘Finance departments should be viewing software as an important company asset and managing it in that way," says Vaughan Smith, head of Software Asset Management at Microsoft, which sponsored the research.

‘Not only should it be good business sense for companies to know what software licences they own and what software they're using, they could be saving as much as 25% on the costs of owning, maintaining and supporting this asset but they need to gain control of it first and monitor it on a frequent and ongoing basis.’

According to analyst firm IDC, we’re heading for a software pricing shake-up as virtualisation technologies take hold. Virtualisation blurs the lines between hardware and software, allowing computing sources to be dynamically assigned to different tasks.

Vendors will have to change their pricing structure, as current licensing does not allow for splitting applications between systems, says IDC

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