Software is expensive, especially business critical software. On top of that, as a small business expands, more software licenses need to be purchased for new employees. Organizations such as the Software & Information Industry Association and the Business Software Alliance are always looking for businesses that are guilty of stealing software, and businesses that get busted get hefty fines exponentially higher than the price of the software licenses.
Much of the time, companies that get caught pirating software aren’t doing it to be malevolent; it’s often due to organization, policy, and a big one – the end user. That last cause again isn’t because your employees are trying to run a software smuggling ring right under your nose, but because they needed a copy of Photoshop to do their job and they had been requesting it for weeks from the company with no action.
When a company doesn’t have an organized software licensing policy, things can get messy pretty quickly. How many more Microsoft Office licenses do you have? Can you look that up in a pinch? Do you know what applications you use on a daily basis that are licensed verses the ones that aren’t? This is where things get messy.
It is important to track your software purchases. They should be clearly documented and receipts should be saved. Proof of purchase is especially important if you are accused of software theft, although this is important for tax purposes and necessary if you plan on ever selling your business.
At PACE Technical Services, we can track your software licenses, and help you determine the cost of a new employee based on not only the hardware infrastructure you need, but also the software needed as well. Like all IT, being proactive is the best way to prevent major trouble down the road.