Emerging economies are ripe markets for cloud computing services, including paid services, but users in those markets are likely to share log-in credentials, a potential avenue for license abuse, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reported on its blog,

BSA partnered with Ipsos Public Affairs to survey nearly 15,000 computer users in 33 countries about their understanding and use of cloud computing.

Worldwide, 45% of computer users say they use online services that let them create, manage, and store documents, spreadsheets, photos or other digital content so that they can access them from any computer by logging in through the Internet. In emerging economies, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina and Peru, the figure rises to 50%, on average, while in mature economies such as the U.S., U.K., Germany and France, it drops to an average of 33%.

"We're seeing a leapfrog effect. A lot of recent adopters of computers and information technology are jumping straight to the cloud," Robert Holleyman, president and CEO of BSA, said in a statement. "If you live in a developing economy and use a computer, then, likely as not, you also use cloud computing services at least some of the time for email, word processing, document or photo storage, or other things—although you might not understand those services to be 'cloud computing.'''

Globally, 88% of the world's self-identified cloud users say they use cloud services for personal purposes, and 33% say they use cloud services for business. In both cases, the figures are slightly higher in emerging economies than in mature ones.

According to the survey, 42% of those who say they use paid cloud services for business also say they share their log-in credentials inside their organizations. In emerging economies, 45% of those using paid cloud services for business say they share their log-in credentials internally, compared with 30% in mature economies.

"This is eye-opening data," Holleyman said. "It doesn't necessarily mean 42% of business users are pirating cloud services. Some licenses may allow sharing of accounts—and many cloud service providers charge not by 'seat' but by the volume of computing resources consumed, making the path users take to access those resources less important."

But it's worth noting that 56% of the people who use paid cloud services for business think it's wrong for co-workers to share log-in credentials, Holleyman said. "Depending on the terms of their service agreements, they could be right: sharing credentials could constitute license abuse," he said.



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