Why You Have Shelf Ware – You may have purchased a software package or bundle with several modules (at an incredible discount!), and you implemented some modules but not others. Or, you may have decommissioned certain software over time. Shelf ware is software that is licensed to your organization but not presently deployed.
Hidden Costs of Shelf Ware – Unless you have made other arrangements, your organization is probably incurring annual maintenance expense for each shelf ware license in inventory. There’s an “out of sight, out of mind” aspect to shelf ware, and most organizations simply don’t track their software license inventories closely enough to uncover unnecessary expenses.
Stop Wasting Dollars – Get a handle on your software license inventories (there are lots of good reasons to do so) and look aggressively for shelf ware. When you find it, you have some decisions to make.
If you know for certain that will never implement those extra modules from a packaged purchase, then by all means, cancel the maintenance. Check also the see whether your software vendor has a license exchange program that would entitle you to exchange licenses to non-used software for software that you might use.
If you might implement those modules at some point in the future, see if your vendor has some version of a “parking” program whereby you can suspend maintenance payments during a period of non-deployment without incurring a maintenance penalty upon deployment and resumption of maintenance.
Time Well Spent – No one is fond of pouring over license inventories and analyzing them against usage reports. But if you take the time, you might find some substantial savings for your organization.