Acresso Survey Reveals Opportunities for Software Producers and Enterprise IT to Optimize Software Entitlements and Compliance

Results Released from Annual Survey on Key Licensing and Pricing Trends, Economic Factors Influence Decision-Making

Schaumburg, IL - Oct 22, 2008 - Acresso Software,a privately-held company of Thoma Bravo, today announced results from an annual survey of key issues and trends on the minds of both software producer and enterprise IT executives and managers. Now in its fifth year, the survey, released during the annual SoftSummit conference, found that while progress is being made, there are still significant industry shortcomings in software entitlement and compliance management, as well as in software license optimization; economic factors are increasing the attention on both issues.

Both software producers and enterprise IT organizations report a low level of certainty about what customers are entitled to use, and report slow progress on successfully managing and tracking license usage information. Looking first at the software producers, close to half said they did not have a system in place that enables them to know what product or product versions their customers are using. In addition, 35% of producers reported that they believe their customers do not know what products they are entitled to use and what they are actually using. While producers recognize this gap is hurting their business, 58% are not yet monitoring usage of the software they sell. Another 15% answered they rely on costly audits to gather usage data.

From an enterprise standpoint, 70% of the respondents indicated that software license usage tracking was either "very important" or "important" to them; the most important reason is to deliver cost savings. Forty-four percent indicated that reducing software costs was the most important reason for usage tracking, while 26% indicated that ensuring compliance with vendor agreements was their top priority. This prioritization is reversed from last year, likely due to heightened economic concerns and increased preference for only buying the software that will deliver tangible financial benefits today. However, while the issue is important, 42% of enterprise IT respondents said that they do not track or they manually track license usage information.

To compound matters, the size of the opportunity for both sides to benefit from greater insight into software entitlements and license usage is significant and growing. Forty-five percent of enterprises indicated that there is some level of license overuse, and therefore lack of compliance within their organization. Additionally, 78% of the same set of enterprise respondents indicated that there is also under-use and therefore shelfware.

"By all accounts, the year ahead is going to be challenging for both software producers and their enterprise customers," said Mark Bishof, President and Chief Executive Officerfor Acresso. "But there is a great deal of opportunity on both sides.  Producers recognize sub-optimal entitlement management leading to lost revenue, while enterprises recognize overspending and compliance risks. By centering the discussion around a shared, transparent and easily managed set of entitlement data, the gaps will shrink."

Additional findings include:

  • Software audits are on the increase—65% of enterprise IT respondents indicated they had been audited in the past year, up from 44% in 2007. This shows that while the desire by software producers for compliance enforcement is increasing, other, more efficient methods of usage tracking and entitlement management have not yet been adopted.
  • Software producers are more flexible with their pricing and licensing than ever before—42% of enterprise IT respondents indicated being satisfied with their vendors' licensing and pricing models in 2008, up from 31% in 2007, suggesting that this producer flexibility is starting to pay off.
  • Over half of the software producers indicated that virtualization would have an impact on their licensing and pricing—enterprises had mixed opinions about the impact of virtualization on the ability to track license usage, with another 27% unable to answer at this time.

Since 2004, Acresso, SoftSummit, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the Centralized Electronic Licensing User Group (CELUG), and Electronic Design and Automation (EDAC) have conducted an annual survey of pricing and licensing trends and best practices in the software industry.  Executives and managers at both independent software producers and software enterprise buyers have participated in the survey.

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