Like any other valuable resource within a company, software is an asset that needs to be effectively managed to avoid wasting investments or even future expenses. To guide IT Executives and other managers, the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES) has just launched the ABES Software Asset Management Manual.
Available for free on the entity's website, the interactive manual shows how a company can comply with licensing policies, current legislation, and also the most common mistakes companies make.
“Our objective is to alert and help companies to implement a procedural methodology that follows the best market practices, helping companies to improve processes and make conscientious investments”, comments Jorge Sukarie, president of ABES.
Efficient management: cost reduction
“The software asset management process is a way to mitigate financial, regulatory and image risks, avoiding future expenses and maximizing the return on these assets”, emphasizes Jorge Sukarie.
The handbook highlights the importance of allocating 3% to 5% of the software budget in a software asset management program. “Companies must understand that the management process is an efficient way to reduce costs”, warns Sukarie.
The document lists four steps to start a software asset management process, divided into: Inventory; Proof of License Ownership; Continuous verification of compliance; Software Asset Inventory Management. The first step allows you to identify unauthorized software installations and which licenses were not used. The second step is to prove the ownership of the licenses acquired. The third step aims to ensure the use of assets within the company. The fourth and last step seeks to manage, through the data collected, the amount of active software.
Who is responsible for illegal use of software in companies
Using a counterfeit copy of a computer program or improperly using an unauthorized license are some of the practices that configure software piracy. Therefore, it is essential that companies control the assets acquired to check if the licenses are being used correctly and not suffer civil and legal penalties. This is because software piracy and IT theft are crimes and the organization will be exposed to compensation, which can reach up to three thousand times the value of the counterfeit software program, and prison sentences, which can reach four years.
“It is common in companies for employees to install software without proper licensing. However, what few people know is that the company's owner is responsible for keeping the technological park legal. Brazilian law determines that the entrepreneur is responsible for responding to any irregularities within the company, including those committed by employees. Therefore, the best way to avoid losses is to invest in an internal audit and carry out awareness programs about the risks of piracy”, says Sukarie.
Financial Loss and Cyber Crime Risks
In addition to the financial loss and negative exposure of the brand, piracy exposes the company to cyber crimes, caused by the infection of malware, viruses and data theft. Another important factor is related to the financial impact. In addition to practicing unfair competition to obtain a false competitive advantage, the loss of piracy in the number of contracts in Brazil reaches 20,000 positions annually, and financial amounts of US$ 2.848 billion.
“The piracy rate in Brazil is 50%, according to the BSA The Software Alliance Study. If there were a reduction of 10% in this percentage, more than 13 thousand new jobs would be created and more than R$ 5 billion would be added to the Brazilian economy”, concludes Jorge Sukarie.  


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