Enterprises Fear SaaS Will Create Software Licensing Issues

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Most UK businesses are concerned about introducing virtualisation, cloud computing and SaaS into their organisations over fears of complex licensing issues

There is widespread anxiety among UK organisations introducing new technologies such as virtualisation, cloud computing and SaaS (software as a service), over concerns that they will add complexity to software licensing, as well as triggering security problems and management headaches.

So said a new survey from software management vendor SafeNet, which discovered 86 percent of UK organisations believe new technology will make software licensing more problematic. Meanwhile 42 percent of companies that have implemented virtualisation and SaaS have had problems with software licences.

The study was carried out by Vanson Bourne in September and October. It surveyed 100 IT directors from UK businesses with more than 1,000 staff.

It seems there is a real concern among UK enteprises embracing new technologies such as SaaS, as 49 percent believe it will cause issues with managing security and over a third (37 per cent) believe it will make it more complex to manage software costs. Indeed, 16 percent think on-demand solutions will actual increase licence costs, while 22 percent think they will stay the same, and 34 percent are unsure of the impact on software costs.


“While the on-demand and virtualisation vendors tout the technologies’ IT management benefits, the licensing issue is, as yet, unsolved for most UK organisations,” said Chris Holland, VP of software rights management at SafeNet. “However software is delivered, you need to know how it is licensed, how to manage your licences and what the cost and security implications are. If the suppliers do not communicate this clearly to potential customers, the widespread adoption of the solutions will be limited.”

The majority of respondents (93 percent) are either using, or planning to virtualisation technologies. However 27 percent believe virtualisation is more complex when managing software costs; 17 percent feel that software security management will be more complicated; and 10 percent believe it will be more difficult to detect who is using which software and applications.

There is also a cost concern as 12 percent think virtualisation will increase licence costs; 28 percent think they will stay the same, and 16 percent don’t know what the impact on cost will be.

Three quarters of respondents (77 percent) admit that flexible licensing is important when making software application purchasing decisions. Indeed, almost eight in ten reported that at least half of their software purchasing decisions are influence by licensing terms.

Author: Tom Jowitt
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