2011 Key Trends in Software Pricing and Licensing Survey Reveals Continued Momentum Towards Virtualization and the Cloud - and Challenges

Annual survey of application producers and enterprises prepared jointly by Flexera Software and IDC, announced at SoftSummit Conference in San Jose

Schaumburg, IL - Oct 26, 2011 - Flexera Software, the leading provider of Application Usage Management solutions for application producers and enterprises, announced today at the SoftSummit Conference in San Jose, results from the 2011 Software Pricing and Licensing Survey, the seventh annual assessment of key issues and trends on the minds of software vendors, intelligent device manufacturers, and enterprise IT executives and managers.

This year's survey of 348 participants, prepared jointly with IDC, found that application producers are evolving their software licensing, monetization and compliance strategies to accommodate new technologies like virtualization and the Cloud. Enterprises are likewise growing more sophisticated in their use of complex IT environments, and understand the importance of optimizing 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 year's survey further illustrates that new computing and software delivery models like virtualization 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 virtualization and the Cloud, but are struggling to incorporate more flexible licensing and pricing models - suggesting the need to partner with experts. Likewise, as enterprises virtualize 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 optimization 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 approach-manual/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.

Licensing Effectiveness

  • 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%).

Click here to receive the complete survey results.


Follow Flexera…

About Flexera

Flexera is reimagining the way software is bought, sold, managed and secured. We view the software industry as a supply chain, and make the business of buying and selling software and technology asset data more profitable, secure, and effective. Our Monetization and Security solutions help software sellers transform their business models, grow recurring revenues and minimize open source risk. Our Vulnerability and Software Asset Management (SAM) solutions strip waste and unpredictability out of procuring software, helping companies buy only the software and cloud services they need, manage what they have, and reduce compliance and security risk. The Flexera  RightScale multicloud management and cloud cost optimization solutions enable enterprises to drive top-line revenue while optimizing cloud usage to reduce risk and costs. Powering these solutions and the entire software supply chain, Flexera has built the world’s largest and most comprehensive repository of market intelligence on technology assets. In business for 30+ years, our 1300+ employees are passionate about helping our 80,000+ customers generate millions in ROI every year. Visit us at www.flexera.com.

For more information, contact:

Clement | Peterson Public Relations

*All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.