Software licenses can be very expensive. We understand how a lot of companies, especially small enterprises, are tempted to just use unlicensed software.
However, software licensing is required by law. Using unlicensed software is simply breaking the rules. Sure, it’s not like stealing from or killing another person, but it is still illegal.
So what are the benefits of software licensing in your business?
1. Avoid penalties and jail time.
There are a lot of penalties that you could face if you were found to use unlicensed software. For one, the Business Software Alliance can launch an investigation on your company and slap you with fines and fees if you are found guilty. You could also be fined $150,000 + jail time for every infringed copy under United States copyright laws.
Another thing to remember is that, if you are caught using unlicensed software, this could very well interrupt your business. Can you afford to have customers and employees not being able to access your database even for just a day?
2. Protect your reputation.
But the penalties are not only monetary. Using unlicensed software exposes you as a pirate. If you cannot be trusted to be lawful with software, how can you be trusted with money that your customers and investors give you?
3. Get a better view of your business’ IT requirements.
An offshoot of reviewing licensing requirements and compliance is that you get to know your business better. You will have a clear understanding of just what it is that your IT needs. You will know just what software you are using and, in the long run, know how to streamline your licensing expenditures. You will also be able to get the information you need in order to optimize your software expenses.
4. Get help.
Having your software licensed means that you have access to documentation, instructions and even technical support from the company.
Oracle’s helpline is valuable if you are using Oracle software, and not being able to call them because you did not pay for your software is a big nuisance.
5. Get the latest versions.
Paying for software that you use can also guarantee that you have the latest upgrades and updates. This would mean that you would be free from programming flaws and vulnerabilities.
Not only will you get a more reliable system, but you will also get a very secure one. For example, if hackers discover a vulnerability in your database program that allows them to siphon off customer data, your software provider would be patching up that vulnerability – PRONTO! But if you have unlicensed software, you might not have access to that patch, leaving your customer data out in the open for everybody to steal.
And that is much more valuable than the money you save from using unlicensed software.
Licensing is easy, too, so there is no reason not to!
The thing is, there is no reason why you should not make sure that you are adequately licensed. There are tools to do it, such as Microsoft’s Software Management Guide. Oracle, in particular, has simplified its licensing rules and published all of its pricing and licensing policies in its Software Investment Guide document. Another option is to call Four Cornerstone.
Four Cornerstone has a team of Oracle experts that are not only well-versed with Oracle products, services and platform, but can also walk you through Oracle licensing issues. Call Four Cornerstone now and worry no more about software licensing!
Photo courtesy of 0x0000org.