There's a lot of work that goes into the development of mobile apps, and cloud apps are no different. The overall strategy, the architecture, issues of contestability and all the other points that go into making the best app for the least money to turn around and sell to the user base, or give away and monetize some other way, are all factors to consider. But with enterprise software vendors making some unexpected inroads of their own, protecting the cloud app may be more important now than ever.
Cloud computing offers a lot of distinct advantages. Cloud computing can improve the performance of mobile workers and gives everybody the potential to work most anywhere, which improves the flexibility of the enterprise as a whole and gives potential for enterprises to access markets they hadn't previously been able to due to time zone constraints or the like. But cloud computing's advantages are driving a lot of enterprises to change the way they conduct business, and that's leaving the status quo looking a little threadbare.
The status quo, meanwhile, is not taking this lying down and is fighting back accordingly. The tool they're growing to count on is software licensing restrictions that, in turn, stop migration to the cloud. Certain quirks of the software licensing agreements can prevent cloud migration by focusing on licensing per number of processor cores. For example, a computer may have a couple, but cloud computing depends on multi-core systems, going as high as 12 cores or more. Does a cloud license now require many more times the licensing? That's not the only tactic, either; vendors could not only require multiple licenses for multiple cores, but they might try to force users to use their own product in cloud packaging, or even not offer usage-based pricing, a huge problem for the cloud developer.
Yet this rather protectionist philosophy may backfire, as cloud development--and by extension the cloud--is here to stay. Vendors who seek the status quo above all else will rapidly find themselves behind the eight ball, which will come in the shape of every competitor that accommodates the needs of cloud developers. This in turn means that there are some strategies that developers can use to ensure concerned software vendors won't try to derail the cloud progress, including getting the right software for the product developed in the first place, as well as designing with an eye toward the future cloud. Developers can also look over their existing licenses and fight hard to make sure the licenses--and those entered into in the future--to ensure the best position for the developer. Though smart developers will also keep the vendors' point of view in mind; the vendors' survival is important, and they'll be a lot more willing to work to accommodate those companies that work to accommodate their own.
So while cloud development may be a little more difficult in the future thanks to vendors out to protect their very existence, there are still ways to ensure that the cloud can go on, with vendors out to help support it as opposed to hamper it. It may take a little finesse in the end, but the results--successful product launches--are worth the attempt.
Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend the Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct 2-5, in Austin, TX. The Cloud Communications Expo will address the growing need of businesses to integrate and leverage cloud based communications applications, process enhancement techniques, and network based communications interfaces and architectures. For more information on registering for the Cloud Communications Expo click here.
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Flexera Software's FlexNet Licensing (composed of FlexNet Publisher and FlexNet Embedded) makes it easy for application producers to monetize, secure, enhance and grow market share through the flexible pricing, packaging, and licensing of applications, intelligent devices or equipment using embedded software. FlexNet Licensing also gives organizations the power to protect IP and rein in unauthorized software use to prevent revenue loss.