New study shows lack of software management control in UK firms

A new research study just published by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), an independent UK body championing intellectual property rights and software management best practice, suggests that 68% of UK organizations don’t have a policy in place to prevent software piracy on their networks.

In itself, this probably isn’t much of a surprise. But what’s perhaps more worrying is what lies behind the figure above. If 68% of firms don’t have policies to prevent piracy (i.e. the over-deployment of software), then experience suggests those same organizations don’t have policies in place to govern the effective approval, procurement, deployment and monitoring of software licenses.

While not having an anti-piracy policy could land the organization in hot water in the event that it is audited by a vendor or licensing watchdog (and remember, that’s now more likely than not…); not having a policy for proactively managing software is guaranteed to be costing the organization money today.

The simple fact is that a lack of software management leads to both over-deployment (and thus compliance risk) and over-spending (and thus financial risk). Without policies and procedures to govern how employees request software, how those requests are approved by line managers, how licenses are checked and allocated prior to any new purchases and then how any required purchases are made, any organization is almost certain to: over-buy licenses, fail to re-harvest unused licenses, miss volume buying discounts and miss opportunities to make savings on support and maintenance.

Typically, we see the above failures leading to an over-spend on software of around 20%. Not many organizations can afford to effectively throw-away a fifth of their budgets these days, so making a change to how software is managed has a clear business justification. Oh, and it might also help you avoid a costly compliance fine when (not if!) you’re audited!

Ben Eagling

Ben Eagling

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