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Spring Cleaning

Old software draining your IT budget? Here's how to clean up.

This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It may be time to get tough on your business software--namely, obsolete programs, old versions and applications that aren't in line with your business goals. A recent report by the Business Performance Management Forum took a look at this neglected issue. They surveyed a cross section of businesses and found more than 70 percent of respondents were convinced there were redundant, deficient or obsolete applications being maintained and supported on their networks. Forty percent estimated unwanted programs consumed more than 10 percent of their IT budgets. That can add up to a lot of unnecessary costs.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they had no system in place to deal with retiring applications. A companywide software audit can identify what applications are active on the network, but more than 40 percent of businesses surveyed conduct audits only on an as-needed basis. Just over 13 percent never conduct software audits at all. If you don't have an IT department to handle such a task, it can be brought up with your outsourced IT consultant.

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