The Software Alliance (BSA) released on Tuesday (June 24, 2014) the results of their latest Global Software Survey. Key findings from this year's edition of the biannual survey-done in partnership with customised research provider IDA across more than 110 national and regional economies, and covering just about 22,000 consumer and business PC users through the input of more than 2,000 IT manager-include the following (quoted from a direct BSA source).

* "The rate at which PC software was installed without proper licensing in Asia Pacific was 62 percent in 2013, a 2 percent increase over 2011. The commercial value of that unlicensed software totaled US$21 billion." Globally, according to BSA's report, 42 percent of software installed on PCs was not properly licensed, which registers as a 1 percent increase from the 2011 figure, and which had the total commercial value of US$62.7 billion.

* "The chief reason computer users around the world cite for not using unlicensed software is avoiding security threats from malware. Among the risks associated with unlicensed software, 64 percent of users globally cited unauthorised access by hackers as a top concern and 59 percent cited loss of data."

* "IT managers around the world express understandable concern that unlicensed software may cause harm, yet less than half say they are very confident that their company's software is properly licensed."

* "[Globally] only 35 percent of companies have written policies in place requiring use of property licensed software."

* "Most economies in the Asia Pacific region made modest progress, including the biggest market in the region, China, where 74 percent of PC software was installed without proper licensing in 2013, down 3 percentage points from 77 percent in 2011."

* "The aggregate rate of the unlicensed installations in [Asia Pacific] rose, as the biggest and fastest-growing markets were those where the rates of unlicensed software use were significantly above the regional mean, and their size drove an increase in the average for the region as a whole."

BSA representatives say that their findings "underscore the need for effective software management practices, especially in business settings."

Stressing this point, BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel on Tuesday said that most organisations just don't know what they have installed on their systems and need to work on changing that. "Unlicensed software use is an organisational governance issue--and this study shows that there is clearly a need for improvement," she said.

Espinel went on to talk about what can be done to address this governance issue, and what kind of software can further enhance corporate compliance efforts. "There are basic steps any company can take to ensure it is fully compliance, like establishing a formal policy on licensed software use and maintaining careful records," she said. "Companies should also consider implementing more robust software asset management (SAM) programs that follow internationally accepted guidelines. These SAM programs can deliver substantial value by ensuring adequate controls are in place to provide a full view into what is installed on a network. That helps organisations avoid security and operational risks, and it ensures they have the right number of licences for their users."