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Illegal software whistleblowing benefits the channel

Figures from the BSA indicate that a fair number of UK employees at SMEs are happy to blow the whistle over the use of illegal software

The willingness of employees to report the use of unlicensed software should be welcomed by the channel, providing them with opportunities to advise firms that want to stay on the right side of the law.

Research from the BSA revealed that more than a third of Europe's SME employees would report illegal software use, with UK staff some of the most contientious.

Those trying to protect the software industry have been encouraging whistleblowing for quite some time and it seems that the message has got through, although most quizzed by the BSA revealed they would want a reward for reporting an issue.

The BSA has a long track record of settling with businesses that have been found to have used illegal software and have settled with the organisation to prevent the case going through the courts.

From a channel perspective not only does the pressure to be legal benefit the legitimate software reseller channel and the ISV community but it also provides opportunities for more consultancy around software asset management.

“These figures spell good news for the channel. The data shows that more than a third (34%) of Europe’s SME employees would report illegal or unethical IT practices in their workplace so businesses need to be quick to ensure they are fully compliant. Effective software and IT asset management should be the first line of defence for businesses in safeguarding against unlicensed software and, as always, this is where resellers can really help," said Sarah Coombes, managing director compliance and enforcement at BSA EMEA.

"Of course, the channel can help businesses purchase legitimate software, however there’s also an opportunity to provide consultation and regular support on becoming and staying compliant," she added.

Getting involved with a customer on the software management front can also lead to discussions about other areas of the business and hand the channel the chance to get a deeper relationship with clients.

"[The channel] can also provide support in other related areas of the business lifecycle such as cyber threat resilience and data regulation compliance. This is all particularly timely given that the new ISO ITAM standard (19770-1) has just been published and could be well used as a blueprint for the development of a robust IT management system," said Coombes.

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