Is it Software or Shelfware? Know the Difference to Maximize Budgets


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Every IT department large or small has software that is underused or not used at all. The difference between the two is that the first has the potential to add value while the second detracts from the budget. Managers must be able to identify and eliminate applications that add no value.

What Is Shelfware?

Shelfware is software that a company has purchased and never used. This problem, however, has leached beyond the shelf; it is now found in:

  • Bundles. Many software bundles contain applications that employees do not use. For example, many small businesses purchase Microsoft Office Professional which contains applications that would never be used. The organization would be better served with Microsoft Office for Small Business. To determine Microsoft licensing needs refer to the McLean Report research note, “Ready to Optimize Microsoft Licensing?”
  • Licenses. Unused licenses are shelfware; when workforce reductions are made, each idle license becomes shelfware.

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Search Code: 11026
Published: September 15, 2009
Last Revised: September 15, 2009

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