Two terms we often see confused in conversations with our clients are ‘software protection’ and ‘IP protection’. Both are critical components of any software development and monetization strategy, and have a significant impact on your software development ROI.
The broadcast industry is rapidly changing. We need only look as far as over-the-top (OTT) services such as Hulu and Netflix to see that traditional billing models are in a state of disruption. Streaming video over the internet has become a popular alternative to traditional distribution channels, and the creation of that content requires a powerful set of software-based tools.
Today as more opportunities are created through IoT, we are seeing traditional hardware companies, whose intellectual property (IP) was the hardware that it manufactured, increasingly seeing the value in software and, in turn, changing their whole business and IP strategies to fit in with the new era. However, IP, hardware or software, is only as good as its protection and the business’ ability to successfully monetise it. Our recent research revealed that despite nearly nine out of 10 organisations admitting they are worried their software may become compromised, many are still not taking the threat seriously with over half (52%) leaving themselves vulnerable to IP theft by not using software IP protection tools.
I recently penned an article for Intellectual Property Magazine in which I offered practical tips for combating the rising tide of software piracy. Far from being a victimless crime, software piracy takes a significant toll on the software industry, costing developers worldwide over $60 billion a year in lost revenues.
The upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has got me thinking about the duality of good and evil. As the epic battle between Jedi warriors and the Sith continues to unfold in a galaxy far, far away, there is another battle being waged much closer to home. A battle so epic, it threatens the very way we consume content. Of course, I am talking about the fight against intellectual property (IP) theft; that never-ending game of cat and mouse between content owner and hacker that keeps the entertainment industry up at night. As Gemalto’s VP of Product Development, R&D Software Monetization, I feel compelled to raise my lightsaber in support of all the content creators.
Bill Gates once said that “The way to be successful in the software world is to come up with breakthrough software… New ideas, surprising the marketplace, so good engineering and good business are one in the same”. And who better to advise on such matters than the man behind one of the most pervasive and enduring software empires in the world? But history might not have been so kind to Gates had he overlooked one fundamental business principle: protect your intellectual property. Indeed, without proper IP protection, any one of his competitors could have easily hitched a ride on his coattails and taken his innovations to a very different place.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz recently proclaimed that “Mobile is eating the world” – and it’s not hard to see why. Demand for mobile software is at an all-time high, with Android and iOS completely dominating the mobile OS market. In fact, Android’s sizeable market share accounts for more than 80% of smartphones and 60% of tablets worldwide.
The IT industry is in the midst of a massive structural shift toward a next-generation compute platform called the 3rd Platform. Interestingly, the rise of the 3rd Platform is happening alongside a customer revolution. Consumer-like expectations for simplicity and transparency are dictating pricing models and terms. Both trends are having ripple effects across the industry. We’re now seeing new business models that align more closely with business outcomes and customer experiences becoming the preferred way of monetizing software.
I recently joined SafeNet to lead the Product Marketing for the Software Monetization business unit. Many years prior to joining the SM unit, at the beginning of my career in hi tech, I worked on a product called the iPhone – yes, the iPhone. It wasn’t the iPhone of today but it was branded the iPhone and it was just as cool as Apple’s iPhone. I guess you can even say it was a pre-cursor to the iPhone of today; the InfoGear iPhone was a regular desktop telephone jazzed up with a touch screen, keyboard and happened to connect to the internet with the touch of a button. Pretty novel in those days.
The embedded market is currently in a state of change. In the past, embedded system vendors sold systems based on a hardware sales approach with a simple one time sale for the product. IP protection was seldom required as the systems were hard to copy and hack. Today, the various functionalities in embedded systems are more and more realized in software. There are many reasons for this movement toward software driven features which result in reduced time to market, production outsourcing, dealing with the lack of engineering resources, handling connected devices, preparing for the Internet of Things ( IoT) to name just a few.