Stiffing calls for guerilla action



Users are fed up with unfair software licensing, or stiffing, as it has become known. Last week a group of IT strategists swapped experiences behind the closed...



Users are fed up with unfair software licensing, or stiffing, as it has become known. Last week a group of IT strategists swapped experiences behind the closed doors of the Computer Weekly 500 Club and identified four types of stiffing: the version release stiff, the upgrade stiff, the change of platform stiff and - for the really creative - the "anything else" stiff.

What really irked our readers is the lack of differential pricing in software licensing - the fact that occasional users pay as much for software as very heavy users.

And stiffing is not just bad for the IT department budget. IT directors believe it saps the strength of the whole economy, by forcing firms to waste resources on policing routine IT contracts. And it forces organisations to work at less than full capacity because of the fear of costs associated with adding desks.

Computer Weekly's campaign to stamp out stiffing has gained high-profile backing over the past 24 months. But the practice still goes on. Ultimately, it is only by naming and shaming the guilty parties that we will turn the tide against unfair software licensing.

But that should not stop you conducting your own "low intensity operations" against the stiffers. That means educating the board about the dangers, relentlessly checking all licences for stiffing clauses, watching your own technical staff to make sure they are not subliminally "turned" by suppliers.

And if, like many businesses, you believe the US state-level law called Ucita is an excuse for suppliers to reach into your system and switch it off at the slightest provocation, then you can borrow a phrase from across the pond and "just say no" to products licensed under the controversial code.

Read more on Business applications

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close