You’ve done the groundwork of getting your company set up on the necessary software and everything is going great. It checks all the boxes and sees to all your business’s needs. So, when it comes time to update the programmes and renew your licence you might think to yourself, “Is licensed software necessary and how bad can unlicensed software really be?”
Companies who use strong methods to improve the way they manage software, according to a Business Software Alliance (BSA) survey, have a powerful new weapon for minimising security risks, increasing revenues, cutting downtime, and expanding opportunities.
So, why is it important to licence your software?
It is illegal
Unlicensed software accounted for 37% of software installed on personal computers in 2018. According to the BSA, unlicensed software costs software companies around $46 billion each year. When you signed up for the software, you agreed to its licensing agreement, which is a legally binding contract between the end user (you) and the product’s owner. You agreed to certain terms, such as how long you can use the software for, how the software will be utilised in your firm, and how many users there would be, as well as limitations on software alteration and duplication.
By using unlicensed software, you have violated the terms of the licence agreement which is a violation of software copyright law. Companies and individuals may incur financial penalties, and if they have committed a crime, they may face jail time. If a software firm decides to sue, the company’s manager or director may be held personally accountable.
A software’s licence agreement actually works in your favour. Should the software not hold up its part of the deal related to performance, maintenance, and support, you have someone you can chat to in order to sort it out.
Using outdated software
Software programmes are updated on a regular basis with new and better features as well as speed improvements to improve the end-user experience. You may profit from these regular upgrades and stay on top of industry trends and technological breakthroughs by keeping your software licenses up to date.
Due to a lack of updates or authenticity checks, unlicensed software may face frequent programme failure or unexpected crashes. Because unlicensed or pirated software cannot connect to the internet to check for security patches and bug fixes, you are unable to resolve the issue.
By having legally licensed software you also have access to expert advice and solutions from the tech support team to address any of your concerns and questions. This can lead to improved performance and service delivery.
At an increased risk of Cyberattacks
Without frequent upgrades, unauthorised software rapidly degrades in quality. Licensed software receives frequent security patch updates to ensure it is protected against current cyberattack trends. By failing to apply frequent updates, you expose your machine and organisation to threats.
Pirated or illegal software is at an increased risk of cyberattacks. If you are using pirated software, then the source of your software may not be 100% clean and you may end up infecting your computer with malware, or worse, you could introduce malware to your entire organisation’s system. This could lead to computers which don’t work optimally or data loss. In fact, according to BSA, organisations now face a nearly one-in-three chance of encountering malware when they obtain or install unlicensed software. Licensed software decreases the risk of cybersecurity incidents.
Your unlicensed or obsolete software may no longer be compatible as new upgrades and updates become available. By keeping your software programmes licensed and up to date, you ensure that the programmes on your computer are compatible with one another and with your hardware, allowing your organisation to work smoothly.
Unlicensed or pirated software doesn’t function optimally. It may work for a brief time, but any upgrades you receive may render the programme inoperable unless you purchase it. For example, Microsoft Office may continue to function without activation for a few days, but then most functionalities are disabled and you cannot modify your documents.
Expired MS licence? Contact us. The team at GPS Online are passionate about what they do and dedicated to getting you set up on the right software to improve the day to day running of your business.