This years survey of 348 participants, prepared jointly with IDC, found that application producers are evolving their software licensing, monetisation and compliance strategies to accommodate new technologies like virtualisation and the Cloud. Enterprises are likewise growing more sophisticated in their use of complex IT environments, and understand the importance of optimising their software licensing in traditional and virtual environments to reduce software spend and remain in license compliance. Finally, the survey shed light on software audit practices of application producers, and the software true-up risk exposure of enterprises. It revealed that of the large software vendors, Microsoft most frequently conducts license reviews, followed by Oracle, SAP and IBM.
This years survey further illustrates that new computing and software delivery models like virtualisation and public and private clouds have gone mainstream, said Amy Konary, research vice president – software licensing and provisioning at IDC. Application producers understand the inevitability of virtualisation and the Cloud, but are struggling to incorporate more flexible licensing and pricing models suggesting the need to partner with experts. Likewise, as enterprises virtualise their applications and move to the cloud, they struggle to fully appreciate the resulting migration challenges, license compliance risks and true-up exposure, placing greater emphasis on the need for automated tools that deliver software asset management and license optimisation in these environments.
Key Report Findings:
Software Licensing Enforcement
- The most common means of enforcement by application producers and the most favored by enterprises according to the survey, is network-based licensing and product activation. These means of enforcement will also increase by the greatest margin in the next two years (48% and 54%, respectively).
- Most enterprises (53%) rely primarily on software asset management for tracking, management and reporting of their software licensing/usage today. 20% are doing this manually, relying primarily on spreadsheets.
- The most common primary reason that enterprises are tracking usage is for compliance purposes; however 31% are tracking usage primarily to reduce shelfware.
- Of the ways that customers track usage, the highest satisfaction rating is for vendor provided tools. 90% of customers that primarily use that approach say they are satisfied. The least favored approachmanual/spreadsheets rated only 22% satisfaction among enterprises.
- Enterprises believe that it is harder to maintain compliance for infrastructure (not applications) software, citing complex licensing as the primary reason for difficulty.
- Most of the software vendors surveyed did not perform any audits at all in the last year (60%) and most that did, performed ten or less audits.
- For the vast majority of application producers that performed audits, the award was less than $100,000. 14% of enterprises reported total annual audit awards exceeding $300,000, and 11% reported total awards in excess of $1 million. The software vendors listed most by enterprises as providing audits within the last year included Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and SAP.
- 55% of application producers think their current licensing strategy does a good job of capturing value. However, only 30% have no plans for changes to licensing in the next two years.
- According to the survey, application producers with concurrent licensing were most likely to rate their licensing/value equation as being effective (77%). In addition, 40% of enterprises surveyed listed concurrent licensing as their preferred approach, the highest percentage of any category.
- Application producers with processor-based licensing were most likely to rate their licensing/value equation as being ineffective or very ineffective (60%).
- Most application producers believe that it is difficult to somewhat difficult for customers to determine which products they are entitled to use and what they are actually using (62%).