Software harcopy box

Waste a lot, want not

(Source: Stockfresh)

13 September 2016

Billy MacInnesRon Howard’s documentary Eight Days A Week is currently recapturing the pop glory days of The Beatles when the Liverpool mop tops reigned supreme in the charts, so much so that, at one point (4 April 1964), they had the top five songs in the Billboard Hot 100. While his film focuses on the touring side of the band, rather than the recorded work, its time frame coincides with the group’s peak in terms of the number of chart singles The Beatles had.

Kudos to the fab four for their achievements. I suspect the software companies that feature in a top 10 compiled by software lifecycle automation business, 1E, might not feel quite so proud of their standings. The title of the 1E report gives the game away a bit as it’s not Best Value and Best Performing Software but the Software Usage and Waste Report 2016.

As its name suggests, software waste is not something you want associated with your product or brand, so it’s a bit of a shame for Adobe (four products in the 10 applications most prone to software waste) and Microsoft (two products) that they should feature so prominently. Neither company had the privilege of topping the chart, however, with that honour going to Camtasia Studio, closely followed by SAP Crystal Reports.

However, when it comes to the costliest applications in terms of waste, Microsoft enjoys Beatlesque levels of domination, occupying four of the top five spots with Project Standard (average waste of $562,753), Project Professional ($381,840), Visio Professional ($236,510) and Visio Standard ($163,520) Minitab ($456,000) is in second place. Adobe products take up sixth (Photoshop, $133,644), seventh (Acrobat Professional, $131,340) and eigth place (Acrobat Standard. $91,211). The last two places belong to Exceed ($83,000) and AutoCAD LT ($69,600).

According to the 1E report, the combined software waste for the US and UK is $34 billion (with $6 billion from the UK) and about 38% of software is never used or only rarely used. The worst waste is in companies with 2,000 users (41%). Anyway you look at it, those are extraordinary figures. So extraordinary that you might wonder whether there could be a role for someone able to help companies make a better job of analysing and calculating just how much software they need before they go out and buy a load of application licences that they never use properly.

Now, I wonder who could do that? The channel partners that helped to sell some of those products in the first place, perhaps? Imagine if someone could come to a customer and give them a good idea of just how much software they need, rather than how much they think they might need, and save them money and time (as well as storage space) into the bargain. If they’re wondering where to start, the report suggests aviation (47%), education (47%), energy (46%) and services (44%) are the worst industries for unused software, while government (28%) is one of the best.

Imagine the gratitude of customers towards the partners that help them address the issue of wasted software. Vendors too, as their products drop out of the top 10 of software waste. They will be happy, won’t they?

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