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.

You don’t have to be Bill Gates to relate to this story. It’s enough that you’ve created an original software application for pirates to want a piece of your hard work. And make no mistake – the threat of software piracy and malicious attacks is very real. According to BSA’s Global Software Survey, 43 percent of the software installed on personal computers around the world in 2013 was not properly licensed, costing the industry $62.7 billion. IP theft is a major concern for ISVs large and small, particularly in connected environments such as the IoT where the security risks are considerably higher. However, locking down your software with a rigid licensing solution that protects it from hackers but doesn’t allow your business room to grow is not the answer. After all, what’s the point in having a secure software offering if it’s unable to reach its intended market and turn a profit?

Software monetization is the cure-all solution that lets you have your cake and eat it. It makes it easy to enforce your licenses so that only authorized users who have purchased a copy of your application have access to it, keeping freeloaders at bay. You get to focus on your core competencies, safe in the knowledge that the special sauce that makes your software great (i.e., the algorithms, trade secrets, and professional know-how) is secured against hackers bent on tampering, or worse, reverse engineering. At the same time, a comprehensive software monetization solution will support all types of license model; from perpetual and time-based to the increasingly popular usage and subscription. Being able to offer your customers such a wide variety of packaging options is a surefire way to create new revenue opportunities, and allows you to remain relevant in a highly competitive market.

When choosing a software monetization solution, remote feature enablement is a super-convenient feature to have. Essentially, this technology allows you to differentiate products and services in the field by remotely sending license updates, software enhancements, and bug fixes to your customers, ensuring quick and easy product renewals and upgrades.

Naturally, you’ll want to keep track of who gets what, when, where, and for how long with the least amount of fuss. Entitlement Management lets you manage multiple licenses across disparate back-office systems, and can be seamlessly integrated with your existing ERP, CRM, billing, and marketing systems, causing minimal disruption to the licensing lifecycle. What this means for you is automated licensing operations that save you time and money, and provide the kind of user-friendly experience that customers have come to expect.

All the software monetization benefits I have outlined above can be summed up in two words: Sentinel LDK. Combining Gemalto’s industry leading software protection, flexible licensing, and Entitlement Management System, this out-of-the-box solution gives you the best hardware, software, and cloud-based locking available today, and lets you manage all your protection keys from one centralized platform. And with advanced data tracking and reporting capabilities at your disposal, you can make informed business decisions with none of the guesswork.

A software monetization solution like Sentinel LDK is that missing link between “good engineering” and “good business” that Gates spoke about. Its importance to your overall business strategy cannot be overstated; and the earlier it is implemented, the freer you are to break new ground with your software. Which is really why we’re all here.