Vendor audits are on the rise, yet 28% of software remains unused, reveals 1E research

US and UK organizations spending millions unnecessarily by ignoring software reclaim

NEW YORK & LONDON--()--Over a quarter (28%) of software deployed in the enterprise is unused or rarely used, yet companies do not have the appropriate processes in place to fully understand and manage these software assets, according to new research commissioned by software lifecycle automation company, 1E.

The findings come from an in-depth analysis into the software deployed and used on 1.8 million desktops in 74 large enterprises, carried out by 1E, and research conducted with 300 IT decision makers in US and UK organizations with over 500 employees.

The study reveals that the average number of software vendor audits is now four per year, up from three in 2012. But for 10% of US companies this number rises to between 11 and 15 audits per year. At first glance, it appears the majority of companies are prepared for these audits, with two-thirds (66%) of IT decision makers saying they have clear visibility of the software installed across their organization and 54% claim they can identify all unused software.

However, with 28% of all software that is deployed being unused for at least 90 days, it is clear organizations are not doing enough to make best use of their software asset spend. Only 44% of IT decision makers can put an accurate figure on their annual software licensing spend and less than half (47%) can identify the cost of unused software across the organization. Two-thirds of organizations do not have a software asset optimization policy in place.

In November 2014, 1E revealed that organizations in the US and UK with more than 500 employees have collectively paid over $7bn for software that isn’t being used.

Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E, comments: “The way in which businesses deal with the issue of software licensing hasn’t really changed in the past 18 months. The cost of software audits can run into millions for large organizations, many do not realize they can make significant savings by reclaiming unused applications and gaining full visibility and control over their sprawling software estates.”

Karayi continues: “This data clearly demonstrates that organizations are not optimizing their software assets in a way that reduces cost. A figure of 28% of installed, but unused, software is shocking and should serve as a clear message to every CxO and IT asset manager to implement processes to ensure that installed software is not only licensed, but being used to ensure a positive financial impact back to the organization”.

The findings of the research of IT decision makers and analysis of the 1.8m desktops is presented in a 1E report, The Hidden Cost of Unused Software, available for free download here.

1E will be hosting a webinar on 2 April 2015 to present the findings of the report and explain practical measures that can be taken to help organizations avoid spending millions on unused software. To register for the webinar, visit

The 1E AppClarity tool provides an accurate view of software that is installed and active across an enterprise, enabling companies to measure application usage, reclaim unused or prohibited software and allow licenses to be deployed as needed. Using AppClarity, one large enterprise, Sasol, reclaimed more than 185,000 software installations covering 15,000 PCs and laptops, an average of 16 applications per user.

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Notes to editors

Research methodology

The 1E analysis into the software that is deployed and unused in organizations was carried out on 1.8m desktops in 74 companies across 13 industry sectors. ‘Unused software’ is defined as software that has not been used for 90 days. The cost estimates are based on the 35 most commonly deployed software titles across the 1.8m desktops.

The survey of 300 IT decision makers was carried out by Vanson Bourne in July 2014. The sample comprised of 200 IT decision makers from the USA and 100 from the UK, who all worked in organizations with 500+ employees.

About 1E

1E empowers the world’s largest organizations to simplify and speed up the complete software lifecycle, from request to delivery, management, retirement and procurement of software. In the digital age, businesses must rapidly create new opportunities and for that they need fast, agile IT. Through its suite of easy to use, fast and secure tools, 1E automates each stage of the software lifecycle, providing consumer grade self-service with enterprise grade governance. With more than 26 million licenses deployed worldwide, 1,700 organizations in 42 countries trust 1E to help them to work efficiently, productively and sustainably. To date, 1E’s clients, many of whom rank among the world’s largest organizations ranked at the top of their verticals, have made more than $2.6 billion in productivity improvements.

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Katie Ward or Alex Perryman
+44 20 8408 8000

Release Summary

1E: Over a quarter (28%) of software deployed in the enterprise is unused or rarely used, yet companies do not have processes in place to fully understand and manage these software assets.


Katie Ward or Alex Perryman
+44 20 8408 8000