Software licensing is often overlooked and underestimated by businesses, though Flexera Software warns this can impact an organisation's bottom line.

Corporate development and strategy vice president, Steve Schmidt, said security and control of data tend to be the two key considerations for businesses looking to transition to the Cloud.

However, a deep understanding of product usage rights, and the nature of software licensing in different environments, is something Schmidt also advocates.

"Failure to recognise this may result in software overruns, 'shelfware' issues and unexpected, unbudgeted audits," he said.

Maintaining the shelf Shelfware, a term for owning or licensing software that is not needed or used, is becoming more common as software capacity is procured and then remains underutilised.

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Whilst some existing software licenses are portable to the Cloud, Schmidt said many are not.

"Similarly, whilst these licenses may be appropriate to begin use, they may not be sufficient over time," he said.

One way businesses may cope is to ramp up additional software instances that do not have licenses associated with them.

"This situation also occurs when a higher tier of software is obtained than what is necessary, when the type of use for the software could more effectively be met with a lower cost tier," Schmidt adds,

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What this tends to amount to is a financial loss, though Schmidt said it is an avoidable pitfall with the help of software licence management tools. Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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