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BSAA offers free simple Software Management tools

  • 27 October, 2003 21:31

<p>Monitoring and managing software on computer systems, and particularly networks, is becoming increasingly critical for all business and organisations to guard against serious risks from viruses and worms, downloads of illicit material, and illegal software, the Business Software Association of Australia has warned in launching a new education and assistance initiative.</p>
<p>The BSAA says small to medium businesses and organisations are most at risk through lack of management of computer software.</p>
<p>“While large corporations and organisations have dedicated IT staff and strictly controlled computer networks, small and medium size organisations usually have no dedicated IT staff and generally leave the back door open in terms of electronic security and safety of their enterprise,” BSAA chairman, Jim Macnamara, said.</p>
<p>The BSAA has launched a new Web site offering a range of free tools and resources for implementing a Software Asset Management program, particularly focussed on helping small to medium businesses and organisations. The site – www.bsaa.com.au – offers free access to:</p>
<p>- A Software Asset Manual – a comprehensive guide to managing software;</p>
<p>- Checklists and tips on how to identify risks;</p>
<p>- Assessment and audit forms for tracking software installed;</p>
<p>- Links to software tools for monitoring what is installed and running on computers and
networks;</p>
<p>- Links to training resources.</p>
<p>There is also a range of template forms for employers including a Code of Ethics and staff guidelines.</p>
<p>The BSAA Software Asset Management Program covers four key steps: Reviewing software installations, licences and procedures including staff access to downloading and systems installation; Rectification of problem areas; Training of employees; and ongoing Management including monitoring of systems.</p>
<p>“While the BSAA’s main focus is on copyright protection, poor software management exposes businesses and organisations to a number of risks. Lack of controls increase the risk of viruses and worms which can destroy data and bring down operations; downloading of illicit materials including pornography by employees can expose an organisation to legal action and damaging publicity; security breaches; and possible legal action leading to fines or damages for use of unlicensed software,” Mr Macnamara said.</p>
<p>“On the positive side, Software Asset Management can benefit businesses and organisations. As well as helping protect a business or organisation from the risks, proactive Software Asset Management can identify software needs and use precisely, which may lead to cost savings through negotiating discounts or special licences with vendors,” he said.</p>
<p>Mr Macnamara said the BSAA had found through software audits that some organisations had too much software for their needs, while others had too little. “Most simply don’t know what they have and almost anyone can install and download software, which is a problem,” he said.</p>
<p>“Without monitoring and management of software, businesses and organisations are leaving their back door open day and night electronically speaking,” he warned.</p>
<p>All of the downloads on the new BSAA site are free. In addition, it provides links to a wide range of third party tools for monitoring and managing software including anti-virus protection systems and network management tools.</p>
<p>The site will be extensively promoted through an e-marketing campaign reaching up to 100,000 businesses and organisations via online media banner ads and links, e-newsletters and BSAA member customer lists.</p>
<p>Incentives for business</p>
<p>Also the BSAA is offering incentives to businesses and organisations to engage in Software Asset Management. Businesses that download software management tools or resources from the BSAA site during its SAM campaign will go in a draw to win a number of training packages to the value of $1,200 each through the Australian Institute of Management. The training is not restricted to IT; winners can choose from any of the AIM’s training courses.</p>
<p>The BSAA estimates that software represents up to 25 per cent of the IT costs for businesses and organisations.</p>
<p>Its research shows that around one in three software programs used in businesses and organisations are unlicensed copies. The BSAA says this may increase with the introduction of broadband, which facilitates downloading from the Internet.</p>
<p>“If a business or organisation is not managing its software, it may be wasting money. And it is almost certainly exposing itself to a range of ‘nasties’ through the Internet and risks from employees intentionally or unintentionally loading and running illegal programs and materials,” Mr Macnamara said.</p>
<p>The new BSAA Web site is live from October 27 and the Software Asset Management campaign will be ongoing as part of the BSAA’s education and assistance program for businesses and organisations.</p>
<p>Ends</p>
<p>More information:</p>
<p>Toll-free hotline for public inquiries (anonymously if preferred): 1800 021 143</p>
<p>BSAA Web site: www.bsaa.com.au</p>
<p>About BSAA</p>
<p>The Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) is affiliated with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which operates globally in 65 countries. BSAA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Borland, Macromedia, Microsoft and Symantec.</p>
<p>BSA (www.bsa.org) members develop the software, hardware and the technologies building electronic commerce. Principal issues include copyright protection, cyber security, trade, e-commerce and public policy initiatives that impact the Internet.</p>
<p>BSA members Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, Cisco Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, EDS PLM Solutions, Entrust, HP, IBM, Intel, Internet Security Systems, Intuit, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates, Novell, PeopleSoft, Robert McNeel &amp; Associates, RSA Security, SolidWorks, Sybase and Symantec.</p>

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