Businesses are facing more software audits as software suppliers turn the screws on those companies that are failing to pay for the correct licences.
In recessionary times the pressure on the software industry to claw back any potential revenue has led to a 50% increase in the number of audits being carried out by manufacturers.
The risks to those that are caught were highlighted yesterday, with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reaching a £10,000 settlement with a London architect firm.
According to FAST, which specialises in software compliance, the trend that was highlighted by IDC last October, with the analyst house recording a rise in audits, has continued into this year.
FAST's figures showed that 30% of firms quizzed had been inspected by a software publisher, compared with 20% last year.
Andy Pearce, managing director of FAST, said that companies were waking up to the possibility of being caught and were looking for help in becoming compliant and were reaching out for software asset management (SAM) tools.
"In uncertain times, what organisations must get from their IT estate is predictability and reassurance, not unexpected, unbudgeted costs," he said.
A version of this story originally appeared on MicroScope.