Once again it´s down to the IT manager to manage the policies and ensure that they are followed whilst not hampering the productivity of users. Thankfully automated tools can now help in this task and can restrict the use of specific applications or services and track application usage on a by-PC basis.
Taking software license compliance seriously
Software license compliance is an extremely serious issue yet most British businesses fail to realise its importance. Software piracy is rife in the UK according to the Business Software Alliance, which says that currently around 27 per cent of PC software is pirated with unlicensed software populating the vast majority of corporate networks.
Whether it has arrived through the ignorance of staff action, deliberate risk-taking, or bad management, the risks of potential legal action and large fines are the same.
According to some reports around 70 per cent of firms do not have an automated software asset management system in place and have a less than comprehensive approach. This leaves them vulnerable to a host of compliance issues, in terms of the currency and validity of license agreements.
Automated asset management systems can enable users to get a clear and real time view of their IT estate and understand where software use may fall out of compliance as and when it happens. It can have other direct benefits too; according to Gartner, most users experience cost savings of around 30 per cent on their IT budget once they implement inventory management.
Three less things to worry about
The arguments in favour of using integrated software to tackle IT compliance issues effectively are clear and have been well-accepted for years in larger companies. The arrival of cost-effective integrated software tools that are similarly featured, yet designed specifically for the smaller business, represents a major opportunity for SMEs.
Now small businesses can to get to grips with today´s dynamic challenges of policy, security and compliance and ensure they are best placed to flourish in the future.