Cloud computing has many advantages over traditional computing, but its flexibility is often touted as being its most substantial one. Indeed, cloud provisioning models such as SaaS (News - Alert), PaaS and IaaS offer organizations the ability to scale capacity to meet growth or demand spikes much easier than with traditional IT architectures.
However — as Richard Northing, the senior vice president of products and services for Flexera Software, recently pointed out in a blog post — discussions about cloud flexibility usually focus on infrastructure, particularly compute, storage and network. And indeed, the virtualization of infrastructure does allow companies to better respond to demand fluctuations.
Furthermore, according to Northing, the practice of "buy the base, rent the spike" has become popular, in which IT organizations drive down the cost of supporting well-known workloads internally with private, on-premise cloud architectures. Meanwhile, less predictable workloads are shifted to off-premise cloud resources.
The problem with this practice is software licensing, because independent software vendors (ISVs) haven't all responded to the cloud the same way or in a timely manner. As such, some want their customers to pay for elasticity with a standard fixed enterprise software license while others want to be able to charge for peaks. Others still are still holding fast to a wait-and-see attitude, despite the fact that the cloud is here now.
This lack of flexibility on the part of ISVs could see most companies seeking open-source options, even if they are functionally inferior. Obviously, this will negatively impact many ISVs' bottom lines. ISVs cannot ignore the shift toward the cloud and should ask themselves how they plan to meet the shift toward the cloud as well as how a cloud-friendly software licensing agreement could help their brands.
Being the first to meet the needs of the market in this situation could easily give an ISV the competitive advantage.
Flexera software is a provider of strategic solutions for application usage management. Recently, the company released updates to its FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises and Workflow Manager products.
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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.