The recession is having an impact on the way companies handle their software licences as job cuts and increasing vendor audits squeeze firms.
The findings of research carried out by Dynamic Markets for reseller Trustmarque Solutions backed up anecdotal experiences that dealers have seen on the ground with customers.
Cherry Taylor, researcher at Dynamic Markets, said its Software Asset Management: Impact of the Recession research helped to have a clearer picture of the current situation.
“The impact of staff being laid off is directly having an impact and these companies are under pressure and in some cases overcompensating and panic buying licences in this very turbulent time,” she said.
The research found that 35% of those companies quizzed had seen more audits from vendors, 83% of those asked had to admit they were not confident that their software licensing was accurate and a quarter thought former employees had blown the whistle to spark vendor audits.
“Challenging software licences is challenging at any time and is much more so right now,” she added.
Tony Fisher, managing director at SAM Partners, warned that the risks to those that failed to control their software assets were increasing as vendors ramped up audits to try and reclaim revenue.
“Anyone who doesn’t have a solid grasp on licensing is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea either having to put their hands in their pocket to pay for licences or opting to keep their heads down and noticing the vendor’s won’t notice you,” he said.
He added that although software asset management (SAM) was still seen by many as a soft benefit it would save money in the long-run as its experience of customer audits showed that often many were over licensed in some departments.
He said that the research showed a growing interest in SAM and the findings were encouraging because they highlighted an opportunity in the market as well as indicating increasing understanding about the need to get on top of software estate management.
The findings come in the same week that the Business Software Alliance reveled that UK software piracy rates had climbed back up to 27% and the Software Industry Research Board held a major SAM conference.