With Scottish travel company Barrhead Travel Services only the latest firm to incur a fine (£10,000) from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) for its use of unlicensed software, software asset management has become a greater priority for businesses across the board.
The company was caught using unlicensed copies of Adobe software and its fine includes a settlement as well as the cost of paying for the required licences.
Organisations using effective SAM strategies will not only steer clear of such penalties, but could also achieve savings of up to 20 per cent on their software expenditure, according to research firm IDC.
SAM is a business practice that involves managing, purchasing, deploying, maintaining and effectively disposing of software applications within an organisation. According to IDC, businesses are not giving SAM sufficient attention.
IDC surveyed 600 small, medium and large organisations across the UK to gauge current SAM levels of maturity.
The survey showed that nine out of 10 UK organisations need to do significantly more work to effectively manage their software investment.
“The potential rewards are high, with a number of organisations that have implemented a fully effective SAM programme recognising savings of more than 20 per cent,” said Ed Cordin, consulting director for IDC EMEA.
“The picture that this data paints is one of organisations failing to understand that the software applications they use are business assets, and that these assets must be managed like other revenue-generating assets, such as PCs, servers and phones.”
As a result of the research, IDC recommends that all levels of corporate management should address the problems exposed by the survey as soon as they are able to.
The research was released at a roundtable held by the Software Industry Research Board (SIRB), attended by software asset managers from a variety of enterprises.