Cloud Industry Forum launches Special Interest Group on Licensing and Value Management | Cloud industry forum

Cloud Industry Forum launches Special Interest Group on Licensing and Value Management

A new sub-group of the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has been launched to assess the evolution and impact of software licensing in a cloud environment. The new group - Licensing and Value Management - will also work to develop best practice for commercial value management and to champion advances in industry licensing and management practices.

The new sub-group will be chaired by Martin Prendergast, CEO of Concorde Solutions, which itself recently joined the Cloud Industry Forum.

"There is no doubt that with the advent of the cloud many organisations may be thinking the old days of Software Asset Management are over. Far from it; one of the biggest challenges faced by enterprise companies today is the management of their software license estate, not just to ensure against non-compliance, but to proactively drive best value in procurement and reuse across the range of deployment options facing organisations today. By necessity, companies endeavour to demonstrate ethical and efficient working practices but, increasingly, pressure from the biggest and most strategically important software vendors, who want to be correctly paid, is causing software compliancy to become a critical business issue. Added to this is the perception that the cloud is compounding the problem because of the complexity of the ecosystem and who is or is not accountable for the licensing of applications," stated Martin.

"CIF and its members are at the forefront of implementing best practice and transparency in relation to the cloud computing sector and to that extent agree that it is good practice to ensure that proper policies and procedures are in place to manage the entire IT operations, regardless of where it is deployed or who is managing its delivery. But these must be prepared and agreed in consultation with industry and must be practical and capable of working in all relevant operational environments. It is therefore hoped that this new group will provide both guidance and advice to both educate and inform the end user community and to assist and support the service providers as they navigate the complexities of software asset management in a cloud computing environment," he added.

"The growth of cloud as a deployment model for IT has brought into sharp contrast the challenges of licensing software use and arguably compounded them. At one end of the spectrum (typically for SaaS), people oversimplify the case saying that Licensing is now the responsibility of the Cloud Service Provider (CSP), and this may be true in some cases, but not all. Equally, an IaaS solution may only include the O/S in the solution and the end user is responsible for licensing. Add to that the complexities of license mobility (the ability in some instances to port licenses from one deployment model to another), the increasing number of organisations in a supply chain and the alternative licensing models such as Service Provider License Agreements and the picture gets even more colour. Given all this complexity, and the fact that many ISVs are still evolving their licensing models to keep up with the pace of technical innovation and it is difficult for the average organisation to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing what is the best and most affordable way to buy and managing your software use rights," added Andy Burton, Chair of the Cloud Industry Forum and CEO of Fasthosts.

"For many IT professionals software licensing management issues might seem more like a business problem than a technology one. But since the challenge of technology today is to drive organisational agility, responsibility for effective license management often ends at the door of the IT department and it becomes a vital concern for the CIO," he concluded.

Anyone interested in joining the Group should contact Breda O'Shea at Breda@cloudindustryforum.org