Sixty-nine percent of the respondents to a King Research study said they are unsure whether they are in full compliance with the terms of their software licenses, and 44 percent reported that unlicensed software is in use in their environments.
The study also asked respondents about how they track license compliance. Half said they do so in a primarily or completely manual way; only 8 percent reported using a fully automated system.
Just 32 percent of the respondents said they were prepared for a software audit.
The study does not break out compliance statistics into various types of applications. This means the results should be viewed in the proper context, according to Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang.
"We would have similar numbers but the question is, 'What type of software?' On the enterprise side with ERP, CRM, I think this is less of an issue," Wang said in an e-mail Monday.
"But with office productivity, like Adobe Distiller, or design like the Adobe Illustrator, (not to pick on Adobe here), I'd say these numbers would be more in line with what the surveyors are stating," Wang added.
A total of 343 IT professionals, managers and executives took part in the survey, which was conducted in May and sponsored by KACE, maker of systems management appliances.