News

Microsoft Is the Top Software Licensing Auditor, Report Finds

An industry-sponsored survey has found Microsoft to be the software vendor that's most likely to audit companies on their software licensing compliance.

The report, "2012 Key Trends in Software Pricing and Licensing Survey," was conducted on behalf of Flexera Software by analyst and consulting firm IDC. Flexera produces "application usage management" software, including software licensing management solutions. The survey included 334 respondents, with more than half (54 percent) working at enterprises with $1 billion or more in revenues. About half (45 percent) of respondents were located in the United States, with the rest in Europe and Australia.

The larger commercial software vendors were more likely than other software companies conduct compliance audits, according to the survey. However, Microsoft led the pack in the study with the most frequent audits. Over the last year, respondents said they had been most frequently audited by Microsoft (51 percent), Oracle (27 percent), IBM (24 percent), SAP (22 percent) and Adobe (19 percent).

The study found that 64 percent of enterprises were audited, or had a license review, over the past 18 months to 24 months. More than a third (36 percent) underwent at least two audits in that time period. Companies audited more than three times in that period represented 10 percent of the survey results.

The companies most targeted for software compliance audits, according to the survey, were large enterprises, or entities with more than $1 billion in revenue. These companies reported that they were "dissatisfied" with their method of tracking software licensing at more than twice the rate of other companies in the survey. Just 35 percent of respondents indicated that they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their tracking method.

A key reason for the respondent's dissatisfaction was a failure to track "overused" applications, meaning that software use was out of compliance with the contract. There were 38 percent of enterprises that said that "11% or more of their application spend is associated with applications that are overused," according to the study.

Plenty of money is on the line with these software licensing compliance audits. Company "true ups," in which companies pay for the software used by employees over a licensing period, were more than $100,000 over the last year for over half of the respondents. More than a third (36 percent) of respondents had a true up of $300,000 or more. About a fourth (24 percent) indicated a true up of $1 million or more.

The report recommended that organizations stay proactive about tracking their software assets. Stumbling blocks that companies typically face include complex licensing agreements, complex IT environments, decentralized operations and a lack of automation.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

Featured

  • Microsoft Bolsters Its 5G Chops with Affirmed Networks Acquisition

    Microsoft has acquired Affirmed Networks, buttressing its software-defined networking services just as mobile operators start rolling out 5G wireless technologies.

  • The 2020 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generations of .NET and PowerShell, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • Microsoft To Expand Support for Partner-Built MFA in Azure AD

    Microsoft plans to improve the ability of organizations to use third-party multifactor authentication solutions with the Microsoft Azure AD service.

  • 2020 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss. (Now updated with COVID-19-related event changes.)

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.