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Express Metrix 2013 Software Audit Report Challenges Conventional Thinking on Audit Landscape

Pioneering Survey Benchmarks Software Audit Trends, Impacts, Outcomes for End-User Organizations

SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwired) -- 12/17/13 -- Express Metrix, a leading provider of IT and software asset management solutions, today released the findings of its first annual benchmarking of software audit activity and its impacts on end-user organizations. The 2013 Software Audit Industry Report provides insight into the experiences and attitudes of companies that have -- and have not -- been audited by software publishers and/or industry trade group over the past two years, providing valuable information for those seeking to understand their own audit risk and potential repercussions. The full report can be found here.

While several industry reports have been published relating to the frequency and outcomes of software audits, they are typically based on anecdotal evidence or surveys conducted among limited or non-representative samples, and the findings therefore can't be extrapolated across the broader marketplace. The 2013 Software Audit Industry Report represents the first of a series of annual studies Express Metrix is conducting to benchmark the true rate of software audits, and produce valid, reliable research relating to end-user organizations' experiences, perceptions, and outcomes. For its inaugural report, Express Metrix surveyed 178 information technology (IT) professionals employed at a wide range of organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Survey respondents were from organizations that range in size from 500 to more than 25,000 employees and are responsible for managing software license compliance.

The study found that not only do audit rates appear to be somewhat lower than figures widely publicized by the media, but the preponderance of targeted organizations surveyed are better-prepared and report more favorable outcomes than expected.

The Express Metrix research found that 53% of respondents were audited within the last two years (38% were audited within the last 12 months). Among organizations that were not audited, the estimated probability of being audited within the next 12 months is pegged at 42%, closely mirroring actual audit rates. The vast majority of these respondents believe they would fare well or reasonably well in the event of an audit, and rate their own understanding of their organization's license agreements as "decent" or "very strong." This view is substantiated by the finding that among organizations that were audited, 43% reportedly owed no money at the conclusion of their audits. Of those organizations that did owe money, most owed between $50,000 and $250,000.

While some conclusions of the research represent a departure from conventional wisdom, the report substantiates a broadly held perception among IT professionals that audits are time-consuming and disruptive, and that complexity remains a major barrier to license compliance. Complex licensing agreements, unwieldy IT environments, and difficulties reconciling what software is installed with what's being used make software compliance an ongoing challenge for organizations, regardless of size.

Other notable findings include:

  • The five ISVs most likely to audit organizations in the last two years are, respectively: 1) Microsoft 2) Adobe 3) Autodesk 4) Oracle 5) SAP.

  • 45% of software audits lasted three months or longer; nearly half of organizations were given a month or more to prepare for the audit.

  • Among participants whose organizations have been audited, 57% describe the audit process as "consultative/collaborative" vs. 20% who describe it as "contentious."

  • Respondents whose organizations have implemented software asset management tools are 32% less likely to have been audited within the last two years than organizations with no such tool.

  • Respondents whose organizations have software asset management tools in place are generally confident in their ability to document their license position should an audit occur.

"The purpose of Express Metrix's yearly Software Audit Industry Report is to develop a true benchmark of software audit rates, the impacts that software audit activities have upon the organizations that are targeted, and the top challenges IT professionals face in their efforts to stay compliant," said Kris Barker, CEO of Express Metrix. "This allows organizations to reflect on their own situations, anticipate their risks, and adjust their license management strategies accordingly."

For complete report findings, go to: www.expressmetrix.com/resources/software-audit-report.

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About Express Metrix
Express Metrix, a veteran in the IT asset management space for over a decade, focuses on serving organizations whose needs for accurate, comprehensive IT asset reporting and trouble-free management aren't met by enterprise-oriented framework products or less sophisticated inventory tools. Express Metrix recently welcomed its 5,000th customer, having earned a reputation for delivering superior IT asset reporting, ease of deployment and use, and outstanding customer support.

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