BSA flags benefits of UK boost in licensed software use

Anti-piracy body claims one per cent rise in licensed software use could provide £2bn GDP boost.

A one per cent increase in licensed software use could provide the UK's gross domestic product (GDP) with a 2 billion boost, according to a study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

The anti-piracy body claims a similar rise in the use of pirated software would only provide a 470 million GDP boost, as it fleshes out the business benefits of investing in properly licensed software.

The organisation's Competitive Advantage: The Economic Impact of Properly Licensed Software report also states that licensed software users get a much better return on their investment (ROI) than people that run pirated products.

"Each additional pound invested in properly licensed software has an estimated return on investment of 37," it states.

"This compares to a 24 return from each additional pound's worth of pirated software put to use."

From a global perspective, increasing the use of licensed software by a single percent would benefit the worldwide economy to the tune of around $73 billion (47 billion), while a similar rise in pirated software would generate just $20 billion (13 billion).

Eduardo Rodriguez-Montemayor, senior research fellow at the INSEAD eLab business school that created the report with the BSA, said: "Previous studies have shown that value-added services delivered with properly licensed software help firms to reduce costs and increase their productivity.

"This report goes one step further [and] makes it clear that licensed software is beneficial for business and national economies and that licensed software has a greater economic impact than pirated software across all countries," he added.

Julian Swan, EMEA director of compliance marketing at the BSA, said companies need to be aware of the difference properly licensed software can make to the bottom line.

"This study confirms that licensed software is not just good for business it is an important driver of national economic growth. Government, law enforcement, and industry should take every opportunity to reap these potential gains by reducing piracy and promoting use of properly licensed software," Swan added.

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