Nearly half of British businesses would struggle to prove that their software was legally licensed to them, new research has revealed.
A survey of IT directors at 300 businesses by software industry body the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) found that 48% admitted they would have difficulty proving to their company board that all their software was legal.
The research found that more than three-quarters of businesses (78%) had a written software management policy. But 42% of the IT directors did not feel they had sufficient staff to manage their IT assets, while just over a quarter said they did not have the budget to purchase the necessary tools for the job.
More than a quarter of those surveyed had never carried out a full software audit, while 37% of those who had done so were concerned about the accuracy of their auditing process.
FAST director general John Lovelock said: “Software compliance should be one of the top priorities on the agenda of a company board yet our survey has shown that it is a board level issue for just 67% of the
organisations we spoke to.”
Lovelock, whose organisation acts on behalf of software firms to enforce copyright legislation, warned: “The legal implications of failure to comply are vast but just a third of respondents actually admitted to being very concerned about it.”
In July, FAST recovered £1.4m for UK software firms – its highest ever figure for a single month – bringing its total to more than £7m over the past six years.