Flexera Software and IDC Research Survey Report: Software License Audits and Costs & Risks to Enterprises

Survey Background

The 2013-14 Key trends in Software Pricing and Licensing survey was conducted by Flexera Software with input from IDC’s Software Pricing and Licensing Research division under the direction of Amy Konary, research vice president - software licensing and provisioning at IDC. This annual research project looks at software licensing, pricing and enforcement trends and best practices. The survey reaches out to executives at application producers (Software vendors and intelligent device manufacturers) and enterprises who use and manage software and devices. Now in its ninth year, the survey is made available to the industry at large each year.

Methodology and Sampling

In total, 1,828 respondents participated in the survey, including 430 enterprise executives and 1398 application producer executives.

Enterprise Demographics

41% of the enterprise respondents were from larger enterprises of $1 billion or more in revenues and 14% were from companies with $3 billion in revenues or more. Among other places, 56% of respondents were from North America, 28% were from Europe, and 7% were from Australia.

Application Producer Demographics

The largest segment of application producer respondents (60%) come from companies with $10 million and under in revenues. 3% of the respondents were from companies with $1 billion or more in revenues. Among other places, 47% of respondents are from North America, 23% from Europe, and 13% from Australia.

Software vendors are aggressively auditing their customers. The largest organizations are being targeted the hardest.

Software vendors are continuing their aggressive practices of auditing their customers for software license compliance. 63% of respondents report having been audited in the last 18-24 months. This high level of auditing is a continuation of existing practices reported in last year’s Key Trends in Software Pricing and Licensing Report on this topic, at which times 64% of respondents reported having been audited.

Moreover, respondents report that audits are not isolated incidents. 37% say they were audited two or more times over the last 18-24 months.

Large companies are being targeted particularly heavily. For companies with $3B or more in revenues, one third of respondents, 33%, report being audited three times or more (versus 25% for $1-3B organizations, 14% for $101-999M organizations and 3% for or organizations with less than $100M in revenues).