Shelfware: How is Un-used software Effecting Your Business


As all small business owners know, it is easy to fall prey to the notion that a new piece of software will solve all of our problems. Software has the ability to provide that crucial edge of competitiveness to business, to bridge a gap in operations or to provide efficiency.

The reality with most software purchases though is that they end up becoming “shelfware” or software that is either never implemented or fully utilized. A recent joint report from Flexera Software and IDC  sought to understand just how large of an issue it has become.

Three of the most alarming stats they uncovered are below:

  • 96 percent say that at least some of the software they’ve acquired has since gone unused
  • 39 percent reported that a fifth or more of their enterprise software budget is wasted on this type of software
  • 63% or just shy of two-thirds of large corporations said their IT budgets would either stay the same or contract in the next two years.

Though the goal may be for new software to help companies, it would appear the opposite effect is more commonly experienced. This is realistically brought on by a few factors.

The Bottom Line

By 2020, the market value for business class software is expected to hit north of $400 Billion. This means there is a lot of capital on the line and business owners and management will no longer accept pilfering away money as budgets are re-examined.

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to the bottom line. Revenue and profits matter now more than ever, and companies are now seeing that software they are investing is not only not solving the problem they hoped it would, it costs them a lot of money,” offered the CEO of Skuid, Ken McElrath

User Experience

The focus of business class software developers has largely shifted to the end user experience. The industry has shifted to recognize that end users have become key influencers An article in UX Magazine highlights that:

“For traditional enterprise products, the model used to be that you sell to a C-level executive at the company, and the employees then use the tools they are provided. If an application were painful to use, employees would use it as little as possible, and instead use time-consuming, often manual, workarounds to avoid spending time in the tool.” – “The Future of Enterprise Design Is Consumer-Grade “

Data Wins

Data and business intelligence strategies have become a reality for businesses across the board; no longer is it relegated to the enterprise-grade only. The grim reality though is that many of those strategies fail. A recent Gartner Report sought to outline the nine “fatal” flaws that cause these plans to fail, and one of those was data quality:

“Data quality issues are almost ubiquitous, and the impact on BI is significant — people won’t use BI applications that are founded on irrelevant, incomplete or questionable data. To avoid this, firms should establish a process or set of automated controls to identify data quality issues in incoming data and block low-quality data from entering the data warehouse or BI platform.”

The bottom line is that fragmentation is the Achilleas heel of data quality. As more internal processes and software databases are patched together or loosely integrated, it is leading to less verifiable and actionable data instead of more. This can prove to be crippling to a business’ growth objectives.

The solution to “Shelfware” and the potential breakdown in business intelligence is to work with a partner like Innovative Tech that functions as your virtual CIO and will work to make sure the solutions introduced into your business fit your objectives. Contact us today at 1-888-245-9926

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