Reduced risk and greater operating efficiencies drive value for enterprises, boosting economic output

A new study from BSA | The Software Alliance and INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, finds that increasing the use of properly licensed software would have a greater impact on the economy in Pakistan than allowing similar growth in the use of pirated software. The study was held in collaboration with Microsoft.

A 1 percent increase in use of licensed software would generate an estimated $148 million in national production, compared to $63 million from a similar increase in pirated software —meaning properly licensed software would deliver $84 million in additional economic value.

Competitive Advantage: The Economic Impact of Properly Licensed Software is a groundbreaking analysis that draw son data from 95 countries to demonstrate the benefits to national economies of using fully licensed software. The study confirms that increasing use of licensed software corresponds to substantial positive gains in gross domestic product (GDP), and that the economic stimulus effect of properly licensed software is significantly greater than that of pirated software.

“Using properly licensed software reduces risk and creates operating efficiencies that go directly to the bottom line for enterprises,” said Amir Rao, country manager, Microsoft Pakistan. “This study confirms that licensed software is not just good for firms — it is an important driver of national economic growth. Government, law enforcement, and industry in Pakistan should take every opportunity to reap these potential gains by reducing piracy and promoting use of properly licensed software.”

The study also finds that each additional dollar invested in properly licensed software has an estimated return on investment (ROI) of $327. This compares to a $23 return from each additional dollar worth of pirated software put into use.

Among the study’s other findings:

  • Increasing licensed software use globally by 1 percent would inject an estimated $73 billion into the world economy, compared to $20 billion from pirated software — a difference of $53 billion.
  • Every country included in the study saw greater economic returns from properly licensed software than from pirated software.
  • On a dollar-for-dollar basis, the return on investment from using properly licensed software is greatest in developing countries —$437 in extra GDP, on average. Still, countries across all income levels benefit: each additional dollar invested in licensed software has an average ROI of $117 in high-income countries and $140 in middle-income countries.

“Previous studies have shown that value-added services delivered with properly licensed software help firms to reduce costs and increase their productivity. This report goes one step further to ascertain the impact of software use on national production,” said Eduardo Rodriguez-Monte mayor, senior research fellow at INSEAD e-Lab. “The results make it clear that licensed software is beneficial for business and national economies — and that licensed software has a greater economic impact than pirated software across all countries included in the study.”

Governments and enterprises wanting to embrace the economic opportunity presented by licensed software use should take action in the following areas:

  • Establish strong and modern intellectual property laws that protect software and other copyrighted materials on PCs, mobile devices, and in the cloud.
  • Step up enforcement of intellectual property rights with dedicated resources.
  • Raise public awareness about the risks of software piracy.
  • Lead by example by using only fully licensed software and implementing software asset management programs.

A full copy of the study: Competitive Advantage: The Economic Impact of Properly Licensed Software is available for download on BSA’s website:

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT“) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft Pakistan opened its offices in 1999 with over 200 partners all over the country. MS Pakistan is Part of the NEPA subsidiary which comprises Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and the Palestinian authority. As the use of software and technology increases with the number of Pakistani companies and individuals depending on IT as part of their everyday life, the company is poised to thrive even more over the coming years.

Microsoft Corporation’s address on the World Wide Web is:
Microsoft Pakistan’s Web site is:
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

For information about the BSA brand, and how it appears in print, click here.

About INSEAD e-Lab

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world to change lives and transform organizations. e-Lab is INSEAD’s center of excellence in the global knowledge economy. A key objective of INSEAD e-Lab is to strengthen links across academia, business leaders and policymakers by: drawing on a variety of global resources to develop research insights that are academically rigorous and relevant to private and public sector leaders.

Information on INSEAD e-Lab, including other research reports, can be found at