Neglecting software estate costing users

Those that fail to keep on top of their software licenses not only risk ending up being caught for under licensing but are usually over-paying for applications they no longer need to pay for

A software licensing specialist has challenged the view that failing to pay for applications is the most dangerous consequence of neglecting to keep an eye on what staff are using.

With settlements with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) a regular occurence the fear of being caught in legal hot water as a result of not paying for licenses is a fairly well known issue.

But there are also dangers that money could be wasted by over paying with many customers shelling out for products they have stopped using.

A recent report by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) highlighted the fact that 68% of UK firms did not have a policy in place to protect themselves from pirated products being used on their networks.

Matt Fisher, sales and marketing director at License Dashboard, said that of course there were risks from not keeping on top of potential piracy threats but there were other problems that customers could face.

"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," he said.

"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," he added.

Fisher added that on average it saw customers over-spending on software by 20% and given the current economic situation very few could cope with losing that level of budget.

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