BSA fires SAM missive at business software pirates

11 May 2009

Software asset management (SAM) should be used by more businesses as a method of ensuring they aren’t unknowingly using illegal software, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA). At present, 34pc of software in use in Ireland is pirated.

The BSA has launched an updated guide to help businesses understand the financial and operational benefits of using Software Asset Management (SAM).

The guide provides organisations with advice on how to drive down IT costs, increase productivity and efficiency within the organisation, limit risks associated with installing unlicensed software, and stay on the right side of the law by ensuring compliance.

“Many companies do not treat software as a business-critical asset, when for many, it is at the heart of all activities,” a spokesperson for the BSA in Ireland explained.

“The importance of this asset is often overlooked and viewed as the responsibility of the IT department, or the purchasing team, when ultimately its affect on virtually every business operation should put it firmly on the CEO/boardroom agenda.”

SAM enables businesses to effectively manage software within a company, ensuring that all the appropriate licences are in place to avoid operational and financial damage caused by unauthorised versions of software, including civil claims or criminal penalties, data loss, file corruption and attack from viruses.

In addition, understanding what software lies where within the company can ensure employees have the correct products and versions to improve productivity and even save money, by deleting licensing overlap or unused programs.

The SAM Guide contains a variety of sections explaining what a software licence is, the different types of licences, how to manage software, the audit process, as well as the benefits of compliance and the risk associated with under-licensing.

By understanding the fundamentals of software licensing, businesses can ensure they take control of assets and make well-informed decisions.

“SAM can help businesses financially, as well as operationally, in this current economic climate,” the spokesperson said.

“BSA has been running an awareness campaign in Ireland since April, working with resellers, to advise Irish business on software compliance. At present 34pc of software in Ireland is pirated and our work tries to educate companies to improve their business practice to ensure that their obligations are fulfilled under the Irish Copyright and Related Rights Act.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years