Three Key Findings from Unused Software Study (and why it’s important to the ITAM Manager)

Every IT Asset Manager’s mission is to reduce risk and costs through effective management. However, to understand this mission, one needs first to learn where to look for those areas where cost saving (or risk reduction) is possible.

While at 1E, I partnered with Buffi Neal and others to write and develop an interesting report named the Software Usage and Waste Report 2016. Here are the key findings:

  1. Global enterprise software waste is 38%,
  2. Totals $28 billion of waste in the US alone, and
  3. The waste equates to $247 per user.

The data above is based on five years of research, from 149 companies, across 16 different industries and involves 4.6 million users. The report defines waste as a piece of software that has been deployed to a desktop but not used.

The report found that of the 35 leading applications reported; the following three were most prone to waste:

  1. TechSmith Camtasia Studio (waste: 67%)
  2. SAP Crystal Reports (63%)
  3. Adobe InDesign (55%)

So, why is this important? As we know, software vendors regularly audit their customers. Gartner previously stated that nearly 70% of all organizations would be audited in any calendar year. Removing unused software is one way to reduce your risk associated with audits, and increase your overall security as unused software is unpatched software. However, when removing unused software, ensure you have a documented policy for the activity (including how often the activity is done, the process, etc.) so that the vendor does not think you removed the software as a result of their communication to you.

The Software Usage and Waste Report from 1E allows the ITAM manager to recognize those applications most unused within their organization and immediately develop a remediation plan to achieve the goal of less cost and risk. Taking stock of software installed, used and licensed, in best practice language, is called trustworthy data. See if your solutions provider or tool can provide this data.

The full report is available from

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