Software soaks up IT budgets in ways that can be avoided through sharper management, yielding cost-of-ownership savings of up to 40%, according to a software management consultant whose tips are on the Web.

Companies are losing money because of uncoordinated software purchases and a lack of understanding of what they have and how they are using the programs, says Jack Micklovich, director of software management consulting at Corporate Software, Norwood, Mass. He cites research indicating businesses spend $500 on life-cycle software support for every $100 spent buying software.

Companies also often fail to "harvest" software and reassign licenses from PCs being retired and fail to keep records needed to meet new software accounting guidelines. Micklovich says standardizing software and versions can reduce help desk calls by 15%. His article, first published in the Software & Information Industry Association's magazine Upgrade, is available at under "News."