b2ap3_thumbnail_licensed_software_400.jpgWhat’s the licensing status of your company’s software look like? If you’ve not been intentional about this, then your business may be using several unlicensed applications. You may be thinking, “Everything works fine. No big deal.” Sure, it’s no big deal–until you’re caught!

When you’re in a pinch for a certain software and you don’t have it in your budget to purchase it, it’s mighty tempting to use the magic of the Internet to summon yourself a free copy. In trying times like this, remember, “Don’t copy that floppy” (the hit song starts at 0:45).

The Internet is a fickle mistress. It can be used to provide you with a bounty of free and illegal software, and the software manufacturer can use it to locate pirated versions of their property and remotely disable the application. In a worst case scenario, you may be running multiple unlicensed applications and your business has grown dependent upon them. Then, an employee attempts to upgrade the software or download an extension which tips off the software company of your unlicensed activity.

Suddenly, like a domino effect, the unlicensed applications on your network stop working and your team is blocked from using the apps they need to complete mission critical projects. That’s one big mess to sort out that could have easily been prevented by simply paying for the software.

Oh, but it gets worse. Now come the fines. Depending on the software, you could be hit with fines that could be as much as thousands of dollars. HGExperts.com reports on such a nightmare-fine scenario experienced by the military/aerospace company A.E. Petsche, “Not only did they pay a fine of over $90,000 for using unlicensed copies of Adobe and Microsoft software, they also ate their own legal fees and the expenses of an intense audit. And now they have a black-eye as well as possible ramifications to their federal government contracts.” It’s a fair bet that your business can’t afford fines like these.

Getting shut down or fined really stinks, but what makes things worse is when you get hit with penalties for committing crimes that you weren’t even aware you were guilty of. Are you absolutely certain that every piece of software on your network is legitimate and licensed? If you have employees freely downloading software without any oversight, then you may be at risk of getting hit with a bulky fine for “copying that floppy.”

One of the services that Iron Edge provides through our ManagedIRON Proactive Technology Support program is software licensing management. With our vendor management service, we’re able to check on the licensing status of all the software on your network, as well as keep track of when the licenses expire. This way, you can be confident that your business is running a legit operation and you don’t have to worry about getting blindsided by a hefty fine. Make sure your software licenses are all in order by calling Iron Edge at 832-910-9222.

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