What Software Is Really Running on Your Office Computers? Uninformed Piracy

In the Age of Computers, clandestine software is one of the biggest risks for a company.

The software we are talking about is not a virus that breaches your network defenses and quietly infiltrates your office computers. A far greater problem is the involuntary inside job – careless piracy.

The reasons can vary and are numerous, but the reality is that some employees install or store pirated software on office computers. This can be caused by management offering inadequate resources, independent employee activities or simply personal quirks (the company has a license purchase for Adobe’s Photoshop but I’m used to using Corel’s Painter.) And while this kind of copyright infringement doesn’t sound like it should concern the company, it most definitely does. Continue reading

What Software Is Really Running on Your Office Computers? An Introduction to Business Software Management

Usually, business networks have a rather elaborate and well developed IT system put in place. With limited access, employees can log in from different workstations with the same account, so the work process is a lot more fluid and uninterrupted. On the other side, the IT department has a restricted access gate into each system from where they can limit and exert administrative authority upon a device. This also serves to limit the modification a regular employee can make to an office computer.

However, limiting what software can be installed on a computer without rendering the system ineffective is pretty much impossible

To strip a regular, non-administrative computer user of all power would shut down the activity of any business – permanently. If the IT department would have to individually handle every update for Flash, Java or for a web browser, no one would ever get anything done. Because of this, even regular user accounts have some freedom when it comes to changes being made to the system. The down side however is that this freedom enables for all kind of non-work related software to take residence on an office computer.

An office computer can easily become a nest of unproductive applications

Installed software can range from unlicensed software to personal, non-work related applications and video games. An indexing system that monitors and identifies the nature of the software running on a company’s network can prove to be a vital component that ensures a productive and result-oriented working environment.

Software managers – the viable solution

We live in an age where the combination of a computer and the Internet is the closest thing to absolute freedom that the human civilization has ever experienced. The freedom and means to access information, the freedom to manipulate, use and redistribute that information is a dream come true for any idealist. It’s an intellectual utopia.

But when this dream is confronted with reality, the truth is that uncollared freedom is chaos; it’s anarchy. And this is true especially for a business, where people have, if not a designated role, than at least a well-defined purpose and responsibility within the company.

As such, driven by self-preservation, the IT world has taken several steps to regulate both the internet and the imagination-machine. At their core, these steps are meant to monitor, index and report activity in such a way that abuse and excess can be avoided.

These steps may seem to be intrusive or shackling, a digital Big Brother hanging over your shoulder when you try to work, but in truth the concept is viable.

A software application that indexes the content of a computer is a solution that can prevent an uncontrolled, unproductive workplace environment.

The reason why this works is because power does not reside in the hands of the observer. This isn’t a dictatorship. Power is shared between the software that monitors all of the company’s workstations and the person that analyzes this information and makes the actual decisions, be it the IT Manager or even the CEO. The software can receive certain rules to automate the process and operate without a need for constant supervision, but in the end, power is still in the hands of the user. Until Skynet awakens.