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.
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.
Simple were the days when only perpetual licenses were sold, and each ISV decided on one locking criteria to build their price model around – like CPUs, cores or dongles. Add floating/concurrent licenses, and a volume discount plan, and you had a price list that was pretty straightforward. It was straightforward for customers, sales reps, customer services, configuration management, etc. Those days are long gone it seems; ISVs need to offer an ever-growing variety of software licensing models to keep up with customer demands and competitive pressure. Subscriptions, pre-and post-paid, usage-based licensing, capacity licensing, machine- or user-centric licensing (license follows the user) – the list goes on. Each license model makes a lot of sense for someone, so where should you stop?
It can be a balancing act when deciding what features to build into your software products. Some features have intrinsic value to the core functionality of the product, some features add a lot of marketing value, and there are some features that do nothing. How would you know which is which?
Technology has changed many industries in amazing ways. Transportation, manufacturing, healthcare—all have been transformed in the last decade due to increased collaboration, communication, and real-time access to contextual data facilitated by Cloud technologies, mobility, social networks, and analytics technologies. Despite being key enablers to advancement, technology software providers themselves have not always been at the forefront of using technology to transform their businesses from the inside out. However, pressure to transform is coming from all sides, most notably the outside–in. Customers are demanding change with their wallets. Cloud software is growing at more than five times the rate of the traditional packaged software market. By 2018, $1 of every $5 spent on software, and $1 of every $4 spent on applications, will be consumed via the cloud.
I recently participated in the Connected Cloud Summit event in Boston that focused on the opportunities and challenges associated with the Internet of Things (IoT). There was much discussion centered on the industry disruption that is happening across diverse markets such as medical devices and healthcare, communications, industrial automation, automotive, security, and more. It was remarkable to see the pace of innovation that is happening across those industries that is being driven the IoT.
With all major players in the software industry transitioning to the Cloud in some manner, the vast majority of new software companies entering the market are doing so as “providers of Cloud services”. As a result, the $368 billion software industry is changing forever, and packaged software and perpetual license revenue is in permanent decline.
How long will it take to get up and running? Without a doubt, this is the question I get asked the most as a software licensing solution consultant. Instead of simply giving you the obvious answer nobody wants to hear (yes that answer is “well, it depends”) I will simply answer the question.
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.
The hottest topic in the tech industry is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) – the idea that nearly every object and device will be connected via high speed networks in the not too distant future. These connected things will produce valuable information which will enable companies to better understand how their products and services are being used so they can better serve their customers, and be in a better position to gain a competitive advantage.