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IDC's Amy Konary predicts the shifts compliance managers will have to make to licensing and compliance policies
By Leslie T. O'Neill
The unparalleled adoption of new technologies—cloud computing, virtualization and mobile platforms in particular—is forcing seismic shifts in the way software is licensed and priced. At IBSMA's 2014 Compliance Manager Summit, IDC's Amy Konary predicted the ways these trends will drive the future of software licensing and compliance.
Amy Konary, IDC
"Why are people going to the cloud? Because of transparency around pricing and ease of licensing," said Konary, Research Vice President of Software Licensing and Provisioning and Delivery at the market research firm. "This shift is changing the mindset about what licensing should look like, how easy it should be to manage licensing and how transparent it should be."
She identified several trends in addition to the increasing embrace of SaaS (software as a service) that are forcing vendors to rethink their licensing and compliance policies. These include an explosion of applications and licensing models, customers' expectations of greater levels of service and the consumerization of IT.
Konary noted that the software industry is attempting to educate customers about their licensing models and consumers are trying to optimize their state of compliance. Still, confusion seems to be the ongoing norm.
"We tend to see companies roll out new strategies while continuing to maintain their old approaches. That's a complexity challenge—customers are managing multiple models from the same vendor. Vendors could make it easier for customers to comply if they standardize on a single model," she suggested.
Get serious about SAMSoftware-company compliance managers need to make even broader changes, however, if they're going to meet the needs of their customers and keep pace with technological shifts in the market. Konary believes that they should prepare for the widespread adoption of subscription models; expect customers to strengthen their capacity for license optimization and audit readiness; and anticipate, manage and mitigate complexity.
She also predicts that customers will "start to get serious about software asset management." Organizations will increase their investments in SAM by 35 percent over the next 18 months, and SAM will be part of the entire lifecycle of software procurement.
"Customers are really trying to take the reins, asking 'How can I be more proactive? What self-auditing tools and practices [can be put] in place to be more pragmatic about how I buy software?'," said Konary. "Customers are trying to do the same thing that compliance teams are trying to do. It's overspending they're trying to reduce, as opposed to [just finding] gaps that need to be trued up."
Leslie T. O'Neill is a writer based in Pleasanton, CA.
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