Software Monetization Featured Article

Explosion of Use Cases Call for More Flexible Software Licensing, Monetization

March 29, 2018

If you build it they will come is a romantic idea. You may recognize this line from the Kevin Costner baseball flick Field of Dreams.

Good movie. Great line.

But not the ideal product strategy.

In the past people would typically build products and solutions. They would bring them to market. And they would hope customers showed up to buy them. 

However, in today’s connected and increasingly software-centric world, that’s starting to change. Instead of the focus being on the product itself, the focus has shifted to the user, says Mike Hogg, of Zuhlke Engineering out of London.

To address this user-centric trend, organizations are increasingly delivering software-powered solutions as opposed to hardware-centric appliances. That enables them to more quickly and easily create, tweak, and package solutions to meet user wants and needs. And that requires greater agility both in the technologies businesses employ and in their own operations and structures.

Chris Holland, vice president of cloud services at Gemalto (News - Alert), says the move to software-centric models is 20 percent a software challenge and 80 percent an operational challenge.

The new focus on user experiences as opposed to individual products means businesses and business units need to look beyond their specific silos and organizations to see how everything fits together for the customer. Hogg says that should include creating and understanding processes related to customer and software lifecycles, what departments are involved in delivering solutions, how the solutions tie into back off support systems, and predicting problems so you can take steps to eliminate them, and quickly fixing things when they aren’t working.

From a technology standpoint, Holland notes that data encryption and network security solutions have typically come in the form of hardware appliances. Then, as with so much in networking, solutions based on virtual machines became available. The cloud then enabled businesses to introduce as-a-service offerings. And then containers and microservices, which enable people to just use the functionality they need, arrives on the scene.

However, Holland says, each iteration described above didn’t necessarily replace the other. Instead, there has been an explosion of use cases, so users today typically use a mix of the models described above. And a result, the organizations that supply those solutions need flexible software licensing and monetization platforms that are agile enough to support a variety of software-centric business models.

Edited by Maurice Nagle