Licensed Software Delivers Twice the Economic Benefit in Pakistan: Study Estimates

Microsoft-LogoA 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 one 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 ground-breaking 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 eLab. “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: www.bsa.org/softwarevalue.


  • Immad

    Load of baloney. Instead of wasting time and money on such ridiculous paid-for studies, MSFT and the like should reduce their prices for struggling economies. If they are so concerned about us, why dont they offer free software to small businesses after signing some sort of mutually beneficial agreement with govt.?

    • Waqar Hassan

      Might as well they start helping in making transactions easy. For instance paypal’s unavailability in our country is a serious hindrance for many tach savvy people like me who genuinely wish to support the software by paying few bucks instead of pirating stuff

    • Faran

      Agreed!
      The licensing cost should minimize as per income of small companies earning a few bucks and fighting for their survival. This is a bull shit to ask poor companies to pay for licensing tax as per the big giants of softwares in developed regions.