Half of general managers claim that a lack of software asset management (SAM) is a risk compared with over 60 per cent of IT managers.

Research by IDC claimed that the most likely reason for this discrepancy is that IT managers are more directly linked to software management and have a better understanding of the risks associated with poor management practices.

The research showed that, while the IT department was responsible for SAM in nearly half the organisations surveyed, IT made the software buying decisions in only 13 per cent.

The whitepaper based on the IDC research was commissioned by the Software Industry Research Board (SIRB), an initiative of the Federation against Software Theft and Investors in Software (FAST IiS).

Matt Fisher, director of marketing at SIRB member FrontRange Solutions, claimed that the divide might be down to the fact that managers are more directly linked to software management, but board level executives should be kept abreast of IT within the business.

Fisher said: “The recent crackdown by vendors on software licensing has brought to light the importance of monitoring software usage from not only within the IT department but also from higher up in the company. In this current economic climate no company can afford to lose the trust of consumers and partners over being found guilty of unlicensed software, not to mention receive the large financial penalty.

“Instead companies should make use of the SAM tools that are readily available and simple to implement. These tools can deliver accurate information on actual software installations and usage, which will bring to light any software not being used to its full potential or even software that is not being used at all, which may avoid the need for new investments.”