- Cost, with a focus on long-term
- Support for charge-backs
- A way to manage and monitor licenses
The last point is critical. Today, in the absence of cloud-ready software licensing models, a negotiated approach with a true-up model is generally preferred, with an annual true-up preferable (from an IT perspective) to quarterly or monthly comparisons of license use from one period to another. In addition, tools that help monitor license use to make the true-up process less onerous are also desired.
In order to help prioritize their negotiation efforts, CIOs are first determining which software products are being installed or used the most. Then, negotiation teams are working with the vendors to determine how to get into agreements that are cloud-friendly and that automate software license management and true-up.
How Cooperative are the Vendors?
According to CIOs and my own observations working with enterprises and vendors, the software industry is coming around. This space is in flux, and CIOs will find that vendors are shifting their thinking- especially if customers have an alternative. Getting to the cloud or being "all-in" with cloud is a key strategic driver for most software vendors. Those that already have enterprise agreements and true-up concepts in place have shown to be the easiest for enterprises to work with so far. Some vendors won't even entertain a cloud-friendly approach, and in some cases the enterprise will migrate away from this software. Unfortunately, there are some vendors that don't play nice in the cloud, but that enterprises feel are too critical to move away from. The solution? Leave it out of the cloud, for now.
All in all, CIOs looking at software deployment in private clouds will need to plan for:
- Lots of negotiation
- Varying levels of cooperation
- And software licensing done on the fly