HR policies need to address the issue of software compliance

Warning from FAST comes as leading training company found to be under-licensed by £28,000

The Federation Against Software Theft has urged HR directors to educate employees and update corporate software usage policies after it recently recovered over £28,000 in revenue from under licenses at a leading UK skills and training provider.

The company, TLE is a national skills and employability training provider, established for more than 14 years and has an excellent track record in assisting individuals and companies to get back into work.

A former employee reported the organisation for under-licensing in February 2013 after which FAST wrote to the IT director requesting that a detailed audit was conducted throughout the company across its entire IT estate.

“We worked closely with the IT director to identify any potential under-licensing issues and as a result we are pleased to report that some £28,000 of licenses were procured. The fact that this is a skills and training provider has highlighted to us the increasing importance that employment policies are in place to advise employees on the correct use of software within the workplace,” stated FAST CEO, Alex Hilton.

“As part of our ongoing mission to raise awareness, educate organisations and to enforce our members’ intellectual property rights, we would remind all businesses about the importance of regular software auditing to ensure ongoing compliance,” he added.

FAST is urging HR departments and small business owners alike to make employees aware of the potential costs of software piracy as well as the benefits of being fully compliant with the law.

The Federation’s Six Point Plan includes:

  1. Ensure all employees sign a copy of your organisation’s policy on software use
  2. Make sure that you keep up-to-date information in both hard copy and on the company intranet to advise on the correct process for adding new computers, software or employees
  3. Actively discourage individual buying of software
  4. Develop and promote an easy-to-follow guide to avoid software piracy
  5. If someone has been found to have pirated software, act within your own guidelines
  6. Review at least every six months

Alex concluded: “Regular software audits make complete financial sense because they give you important data to put you in control of your software costs and increase productivity, let alone avoid the costs and risk associated with non-compliance!”

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