ISVs have long relied on product keys (otherwise known as software license keys) to ensure that their software is only being used by those entitled to do so. Oftentimes, these product keys are also used to control use of specific features, based on the agreement the end user has with the ISV. Despite the value these product keys hold, they pose a number of challenges for both ISVs and end users.
The planning process of delivering software is a continuous process – develop, license, deploy and support, and back again. All stages striving to deliver a product that is what the customer wants while providing profit to the service provider.
In today’s business landscape, virtualization allows for the removing of resources from physical assets and allows for business to be more agile. Virtualization is by no means a new initiative. Since its infant stages in 2005, virtualized servers have already been launched by most organizations, which are looking to virtualize even further. In 2013 alone, the Virtualization Solutions market is expected to grow 12.3% year over year.
The IT industry is in the midst of a massive shift toward what IDC calls the 3rd Platform. The 3rd Platform is characterized by a proliferation of always-connected smart mobile devices coupled with the widespread usage of social networking, and layered over a cloud-based server infrastructure supporting important new workloads such as big data analytics.
The 3rd Platform is not just a technology revolution; it’s also a customer revolution. Unlike the previous generation of software, 3rd Platform applications will be designed for the consumer and enhanced for the enterprise. Consumer-like expectations for ease of acquisition and access as well as simplicity and transparency will dictate pricing models and payment terms. In addition, expectations for ease of use and interoperability will also be gleaned from consumer experiences.
Ever since software systems have been around, people have been working to connect them together to get added benefit. Sometimes that leads to large integrated all-in-one systems, sometimes it leads to efforts to standardise API’s and communications protocols and it almost always leads to lots of professional services.
In the cloud though, that’s changing. One of the most innovative companies I have seen is Boomi (now Dell Boomi). Their website does a better job of explaining their value proposition, but essentially it translates communications between systems – kind of like the Babel Fish (from HHGTTG), but for software.
There is no question that SaaS as a business model is becoming more and more attractive. According to Saugatauk Technology, Inc., 45% or more of new enterprise IT spend will be devoted to cloud-based applications by 2014.
Even today, SaaS revenue growth remains much higher than on-premise software growth rates. So it’s no surprise that most organizations are beginning or at least thinking about transitioning current business models to include SaaS. Chances are, YOUR ORGANIZATION IS ONE OF THEM.