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Partnering to Strengthen India’s IT Ecosystem

“Technology has transformational power,” the Government of India declares in its 2011 National Policy on Information Technology. “It is a great leveler of opportunity within and across economies.”

This observation is undeniably true, and India is well on its way to achieving its aspiration of harnessing technology innovation to become one of the world’s leading knowledge economies. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, India starts with a number of strategic advantages, and it is rapidly adding to them. Not least of these is the fact that the Government of India has articulated a clear plan for IT-driven growth and has shown an eagerness to collaborate with industry to achieve its goals.

To that end, BSA and India’s Department of Information Technology on Wednesday evening in New Delhi unveiled the details of a collaborative effort to strengthen the country’s IT ecosystem by promoting proven best practices that enterprises of all types and sizes can adopt to better manage the software tools they use to run their operations.

These software asset management practices are important for a number of reasons. First, they help organizations get maximum value from their investments in software. Second, they ensure organizations use only legally licensed programs, which helps them avoid the legal and security risks that come with pirated software. Third, software asset management practices help encourage more technology innovation by making commonplace a systematic approach to complying with copyright laws, which give innovators a financial incentive to commercialize new products.

In partnering with BSA to promote software asset management, India’s Department of IT has shown a keen awareness that it is not enough merely to have intellectual property laws on the books. Citizens, private industry, and public institutions also must be well-versed in how IP rights apply in practice. All parties share responsibility. That’s why BSA and the Department of IT are marshaling public and private sector resources in a three-track initiative to promote a secure and legal software environment that helps spur IT competitiveness and growth.

The first thrust of the initiative focuses on driving SAM implementation among the agencies of India’s central and state governments. Next, BSA and the Department of IT are partnering with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to raise awareness among small and medium-sized enterprises about the importance of intellectual property rights and the opportunity to use software asset management to increase efficiency and reduce business risks. Finally, BSA and the Department of IT are collaborating with the Confederation of Indian Industry to engage and educate the Indian public about the pitfalls of using pirated software and the advantages of using legally licensed products.

The Government of India is leading by example and sending an important message to the domestic and international marketplace that it is committed to fostering a world-class IT ecosystem. Other governments would do well to take notice.

Tomorrow, BSA’s General Counsel and Vice President for Antipiracy, Jodie Kelley, will give an overview of a related BSA initiative — our new certification program for standards-based software asset management, CSS(O).

Robert Holleyman

Author:

As President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance from 1990 until April 2013, Robert Holleyman long served as the chief advocate for the global software industry. Before leaving BSA to start his own venture, Cloud4Growth, Holleyman led the most successful anti-piracy program in the history of any industry, driving down software piracy rates in markets around the world.

Named one of the 50 most influential people in the intellectual property world, he was instrumental in putting into place the global policy framework that today protects software under copyright law. A widely respected champion for open markets, Holleyman also was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, the principal advisory committee for the US government on trade matters.

Holleyman was a leader in industry efforts to establish the legal framework necessary for cloud-computing technologies to flourish. He was an early proponent for policies that promote deployment of security technologies to build public trust and confidence in cyberspace. And he created a highly regarded series of forums for industry executives and policymakers to exchange points of view and forge agreements on the best ways to spur technology advances and promote economic growth.

Before heading BSA, Holleyman was a counselor and legislative adviser in the United States Senate, an attorney in private practice, and a judicial clerk in US District Court. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, a J.D. from Louisiana State University, and has completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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