Shelfware costs U.S. companies $12.3 billion, survey of guesstimates shows

Real problem of unused licenses measured only approximately in new poll

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The question didn't go into whether "unused" meant "never launched," or "not launched in an average month because I only need it during end-of-quarter book closings."

The sponsors are a little iffy as well.

In addition to IE, co-sponsors included the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers and Federation Against Software Theft (whose goals you'd think dovetail in many ways, but forked-tongue in a lot of others).

All three sponsors has a set of its own agendas for a study like this. Corporate asset managers – the most likely to have been willing to take the survey, or even be identified to take it – tend to overstate the underuse case as well, even if only from frustration at the resistance of business unit managers who can't be bothered to help out a little to save the company big money.

The result is that the cost-per-PC 1E puts on waste from licensing isn't reliable enough for calculations.

It is enough – both in size and in the percentage of respondents who agreed licenses were going to waste – to use as evidence your license-tracking needs to be tightened up and that you could save a ton of dough by doing it.

Just don't use the number to print up project T-shirts or anything. Wouldn't want your outfit to turn out to be a joke because the real number at your company turned out to be far lower – or far higher – than the collective guesstimate from 500 strangers.

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