As part of my family’s annual exercise, I’ve spent the last couple of weekends doing some spring cleaning. As I remove loads and loads of accumulated junk at home, I cannot but wish I had stayed lean and had to manage less. This is a sentiment I’m sure most IT managers echo when they look at their portfolio. Cloud and subscription however, are changing that. Let us examine the effects of going to cloud licensing in the context of spring cleaning: staying lean, nimble and flexible.

One of the biggest drivers for most cloud solutions is the subscription model to consuming SaaS services. You do not need to pay an upfront fee thereby moving from a capital expense to an operational expense and freeing up your cash flow. Outside of the financial modelling benefits that cloud brings, there are three major areas that a cloud licensing solution addresses:

Staying Lean
Adopting a cloud licensing solution allows the convenience of no longer having to procure hardware to run licensing applications. There is no need to ship out license servers to your customer to activate licenses, thereby eliminating dependency on the customer. This results in a lower total cost of ownership from a hardware perspective. Especially for organizations in growth mode, the money saved from procuring additional hardware can be better utilized in the product. On the flip side, for large companies with a complex IT foot print, moving applications and functions allows for a more streamlined IT organization.

Staying Nimble
Cloud significantly reduces the problem of manageability. I have had customers complain that it takes several over worked FTEs just to manage a small home grown licensing solution with basic licensing functionality. In larger organizations, this team can rapidly become very large thus locking critical resources into managing a niche solution. On the other hand, from a cloud perspective, having it all outsourced frees up significant bandwidth for resources. It also increases manageability of the solution without the business becoming dependent on a strict set of resources.  Cloud gives you the ability to get so much done with so little. A case in point is the real time updates you can do to an application licensing based on business changes; with a the click of a button you instantly make your business highly agile.

Being Flexible
Most businesses are cyclical in nature with occasional spikes in loads which applications need to scale seamlessly in order to manage. Cloud solutions are designed and developed to do exactly that. An example would be a software publisher launching a freemium or free trial which results in a significant spike. It is imperative that all systems, including the licensing solution, are able to scale without dropping performance. In a traditional on-premise solution, it would be prohibitively expensive to build in such redundancies. From a technology perspective, cloud licensing solutions are better equipped to handle business requirements and spikes than traditional solutions are. Typically, cloud vendors come out with at least three to four major releases a year. This allows them to keep pace with market changes and constantly drive innovation. In a SaaS world, these upgrades are seamlessly pushed in the product functionality allowing your business stay competitive.

Cloud licensing solutions are uniquely positioned to drive both business model transformation as well as increase customer satisfaction. They retain most of the functionality that a traditional on-premise solution offers with much more including: usage analytics, any time anywhere access and real time control.

Spring is the time to clean up and change and like spring cleaning, a cloud licensing solution can make your software licensing more lean, nimble and flexible. Is spring the time for you to implement a cloud licensing solution?