I live, eat and sleep cloud (I draw the line at smoking it), so to my mind the tenets and advantages that can be gained from adopting the new model are a given. I can’t help feeling surprised, therefore, when I speak to organisations where it’s an alien concept that they’re still trying to get their heads around.
One of the biggest advantages with cloud IaaS is the ability to utilise compute resources on an hourly or weekly basis, and only pay for what you use. It is with frustration that I come across companies who are desperate to embrace the cloud model but are being prevented from doing so by arcane software licensing models that are nowhere near as flexible.
This is madness because software is the thing that should be easiest; being virtual, portable and ‘off-and-onable’ by its very nature. Alas no; where there are annual licensing agreements, you may very well only pay for the virtual machine when you need it, but potentially could be lumbered with a software cost that far outstrips any saving that you could make.
An annual cost is based on 52 weeks, so let’s look at just one of those. One week is 168 hours, but take away evenings and weekends and you’re left with as few as 40. Even with consideration to flexible working and time changes, who wants to use all their user license coverage all of the time? An individual user won’t need that software for 100+ hours for every week you pay for it.
To any software vendor, the movement to a utility pay-as-you-use billing model is a frighteningly disruptive change, especially if the product is perhaps not all that good and there’s very real possibility of people ditching it and walking away for minimal cost.
However, a number of software and OS vendors are now recognising this challenge and realising that if they want to survive in the 21st century then they need to move with the times or risk going the way of video shops, fax machines and Kodak.
These vendors allow service providers to help customers utilise software and resources on a pure utility model. Yes they are disrupting their own business models, but I’m positive that the market share they attain now will stand them in good stead for the future, as the old CapEx model of software purchasing steadily dies out over the next couple of years.
This really is at the heart of our philosophy that cloud should be easy to consume, and that doesn’t only involve the virtualised infrastructure being used but also the software that runs on top of it. That is why all services around Cloud Management should be based purely on a utility model. So the call is to the remaining software vendors out there, follow this model and allow the world to use your software as a utility you will reap the rewards if you do!