While mobile technology brings business benefits, it also makes it harder for companies to control the use of illegal or counterfeit software.
A survey by NOP on behalf of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), found that 55% of 500 UK business managers said mobile and remote working was making it increasingly tricky for them to see what their employees were loading onto laptops and mobile devices.
The survey also found that 67% of respondents were not concerned about the potential problem.
The BSA, which protects suppliers’ software copyright, said the survey findings showed that firms could open themselves up to legal action by allowing their staff to use unauthorised software.
The BSA said IT management policies and processes that companies enforced within the office environment might not be enforced for staff working remotely or on the move.
Siobhan Carroll, BSA regional manager, said, "Organisations need to keep a tight rein on exactly what their staff are putting onto their mobile devices. This research suggests that UK managers have a dangerously lax attitude to the downloading of illegal software on company devices.”
Analyst IDC recently predicted that the potential mobile workforce in the UK would rise to 15.4 million in 2005, representing just over 50% of the entire UK workforce.
The NOP/BSA survey also found that:
• 39% of bosses believe mobile working is lessening their control over company software
• 48% believe that remote working makes security patching more of a problem
• 74% of bosses believe that allowing remote working improves staff motivation
• 68% aren’t concerned about the threat of unauthorised users accessing their networks or company laptops