According to the 2013 Global Software campaign by BSA, about 73 percent of the software installed on personal computers (PCs) across East and Southern Africa was not properly licensed with the commercial value of $128 million unlicensed software in Kenya alone.
According to the report, rates of unlicensed software installations declined slightly across the region from 2011 to 2013. In Kenya, the rate was unchanged at 78 percent in 2013; Botswana declined one point to 79 percent; Zimbabwe declined one point to 91 percent; Zambia declined one point to 81 percent; and South Africa declined one point to 34 percent. However, the commercial value of unlicensed software across the region actually decreased from $672 million in 2011 to $540 million in 2013.
In the Middle East and Africa the commercial value of unlicensed software was $4.3 billion in 2013. Computer users cite the risk of security threats from malware as the top reason to avoid unlicensed software. Among their specific concerns are intrusions by hackers and loss of data. Yet in the enterprise, only 35 percent of companies globally have written policies in place requiring use of properly licensed software.
Globally, unlicensed software use continues to be a major problem with 43 percent of the software installed on PCs around the world not properly licensed. Emerging markets now account for 56 percent of all PCs in use globally — and nearly three-quarters of all unlicensed software installations (73 percent). That trend is likely to continue.
The significant gap between workers’ and IT managers awareness of company software policies is an alarming trend with 42 percent of workers revealing that their companies have no policy on licensed software use while 86 percent of IT managers claim that their companies have either a written policy or an informal one. It is no surprise, then, that less than half of IT managers surveyed are very confident that their company’s software is properly licensed.
“Most people don’t know what is installed on their systems. That needs to change,” said BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel. “There are common-sense steps managers and administrators can take to make sure their organizations are using genuine, properly licensed software.”
The Middle East and Africa has the third highest regional rate of unlicensed software tied with Latin America at 59 percent. Asia-Pacific has the highest rate in the world (62 percent) followed by Central and Eastern Europe (61 percent).
Reducing unlicensed software use will help to stimulate the economy, enhance businesses productivity and better avoid security risks. Security is especially important in light of the growing threat of cybercrime.