Almost half of the world's enterprise IT managers openly admit to using pirated software at work – at least a survey from a software industry association says so.
A report (PDF) from The Software Alliance claims that during 2013, 43 per cent of all software in the world was installed without a licence, up from 42 per cent in the previous study.
However, Blighty's big-hearted tech bods were more law-abiding in 2013 than the previous year, because the total percentage of pirated software used by businesses dropped slightly from 27 to 26 per cent.
The results were extrapolated from a survey of 22,000 consumer and enterprise PC users and a parallel survey of more than 2,000 IT managers.
The survey estimated around $62.7bn worth of unlicensed software had been used last year. The US accounted for $9.7bn of this, with an unlicensed rate of 18 per cent, it claimed.
The Software Alliance said: "Behind this mixed picture is a cross-current of two large-scale market trends: The growing popularity of tablet computers is eating into new PC shipments, while emerging economies account for an increasing majority of the still-vast global market for desktops and laptops.”
"These tectonic shifts will continue to reshape the global software landscape over time,” continued the canned quote, “but the importance of using genuine, properly licensed software will remain as important as ever — particularly as cybersecurity threats proliferate."
Emerging economies use the most pirated software, which is not surprising because these nations are still keen on using old school desktops and laptops rather than imitating the cloud-floating, slab-fondling techies of the First World.
Just 35 per cent of companies have written policies requiring them to use licensed software.
The US is the top market for unlicensed software, where pirated wares are worth $9.7bn a year. In second place is China, where pirate booty is $8.7bn, followed by India at $2.9bn.
Some 64 per cent of those surveyed said unauthorised access by hackers was a major concern, while 59 per cent were worried about loss of data.
"Those concerns are not unreasonable," the BSA added. "The global cybersecurity threat environment has in fact been worsening — and that trend has been exacerbated in part by vulnerabilities associated with illegitimate software." ®