By Daniel Hunter

Ninety three per cent of UK businesses lack confidence in passing their next software licensing audits, says K3 Managed Services.

There is a 50 per cent chance that a business will be subject to an on-the-spot software audit at any time throughout the year. Figures from software giant Adobe show that over one in four pieces of software in the UK is illegal and over the past two years, the cost in fines levied against UK businesses for using unlicensed software has doubled to more than £2 million.

In its free IT guide, K3 Managed Services, one of the leading UK suppliers of Microsoft-based business solutions for the supply chain, highlights that a significant number of businesses don’t pay enough attention to scheduling regular software audits.

More than 30 per cent of IT spend goes on software and companies confused about software licensing are often paying twice for licenses they have already bought or for software that has been installed but never used. In fact, more than 40 per cent of UK businesses are wasting thousands of pounds every year through software over-licensing.

As the IT landscape continually shifts and the economic outlook remains uncertain, businesses need their software to be flexible enough to expand or downsize quickly to suit the needs of their business.

A recent study by technology and business research firm, Forrester, suggests that businesses are already transitioning to more flexible licensing solutions. Today, 30 per cent of the software licensing budget is spent on flexible models compared to just 20 per cent four years ago. Flexible models include subscription servers, risk sharing and even dynamic pricing, which involves a fluid costing scheme between the buyer and seller, with suppliers adapting their fees to suit a company’s budget.

Jason Price, Head of Sales at K3 Managed Services said: “Software copyright law is highly stringent. Businesses need to be aware of how they manage their software licenses better to ensure full compliance and to confirm they have no unlicensed software. K3 Managed Services provides the support needed to avoid the risk of large fines and a damaged reputation, which can be far more costly in the longer term than paying attention to when an audit is due.”

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