Many companies, particularly in the UK, do not know the value of their IT assets nor measure the contribution they make to the business, according to a survey by research organisation Vanson Bourne.
The study, commissioned by UK software developer Micro Focus, looked at companies with revenues between £50m and £500m across all sectors in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and the US.
The survey of 250 IT and finance heads in these countries found that on average less than half quantified the value of their IT assets, 60% did not know the extent of their core software assets, and 29% did not know what they spent on software.
UK respondents had the least knowledge of their software assets. Only 12% said they knew the size of their core software assets, compared with 36% of French, 40% of Italian, 52% of US, and 60% of German respondents.
The UK, along with Italy, also scored the lowest when it came to quantifying the contribution all IT assets made to business performance. Only one in five businesses made the assessment, compared with one in two US businesses, and one in three German and French businesses.
Over half (56%) of all respondents said that the real financial value of their core software assets was either ignored or poorly evaluated compared with other business assets including brands, property, and intellectual property.
"If organisations do not know the cost and value of IT assets, then they must be severely challenged to make the right decisions moving forward," said Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Micro Focus.