By the Numbers: December 2003

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2003-12-01 Print this article Print

Companies must be on guard against violating copyrights when buying software; spending on in-house technology staff climbs; survey finds security specialists focus more on threat detection, not fixing breaches; developers using Web services for new applic

Do You Know Where Your Software Has Been?
Amid tight budgets, many small and medium-size businesses have turned to online auctions and discount vendors to buy software, says Jenny Blank, director of enforcement for the Business Software Alliance (BSA). Results of a recent BSA survey shows people are concerned about whether their online purchases are legitimate.

But beware the copyright police. The BSA went undercover to buy from discount and auction sites. "Not only did we not get legal software," Blank says, "often we didn't get anything at all [after paying]."

Big companies with trusted vendors may think they're safe on license issues. But they need to be on guard for such violations as employees installing unapproved software on company systems. "The organization is responsible for everything running on its machines," Blank says.

If you want to calculate the cost of your company carrying unlicensed software, download our "price of vigilance" worksheet.

Source: Business Software Alliance

I.T. in the House
Technology budgets remain flat, but more of the money that is there is going to internal staff. With a rich field of job candidates, companies are cutting back on consultants, according to a survey by Merrill Lynch Equity Research. But don't expect headhunters at your door just yet. "It's not as though I.T. staffs are bulging at the seams," says Michael Maestas, a Merrill Lynch analyst.

Who's Got Mail?
Do you want A company e-mail ADDRESS if you work on the assembly line? Well ... yeah. Workers without e-mail feel neglected and out of touch, according to a study by the Radicati Group. But despite the extra costs, companies are coming around, Radicati reports: Worldwide, 55% of employees whose jobs do not rely on corporate e-mail now have IT.

Web Services Grow Up
Web services were once advertised as a faster, cheaper replacement to standard messaging services. It seems that companies don'treally want to pour new wine into old skins, however: An Evans Data Corp. survey found that 44% of developers' efforts are spent on building new Web-services applications.

Source: Evans Data Corp.

Too Much (Security) Information
Which areas of exclusionary* information security are you familiar with?

Realizing you have a security problem is half the battle. Apparently, it's about the only half being fought right now. A survey of 396 companies by Meta Group on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that only 57% of respondents were familiar with "security remediation"—the part of the job that involves actually fixing a vulnerability or breach. Instead, these companies "spend most of their time in reaction mode," assessing data and throwing more monitoring tools at the problem, says Andrew Toner, a principal in PwC's security practice.

Source: Meta Group research * "Exclusionary" is META GROUP'S term for "Preventive"


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