Cloud computing, on-demand solutions, subscription fees… software licensing is undergoing significant changes. Enforced by the current economic crises with tight IT budgets, companies don’t have the money to pay upfront licenses and are reluctant to take financial risks over many years when purchasing software. A key factor of the current growth of cloud computing is its financial benefits: no capital expenditures, no upfront financial risk, no depreciation and nothing on the balance sheet! But pay-by-use licensing models are not necessarily limited to cloud deployment models and can be applied to more traditional implementations as well.
Traditional software licensing with upfront payments has served vendors well over the last 40 years. However, over time vendors had to face significant disadvantages as well. The pressure to successfully close quarter by quarter and the fiscal year has led to a common practice by customers to push decisions until year end for a special deal. Discounts up to 80% became not uncommon in the software business. Another problem is the revenue volatility in difficult economic times. In 2009 many software companies had to face a decline in new license revenues of 10 to 25%. Without the constant stream of maintenance revenues many software companies would be facing severe financial problems today.
This caught my eye recently in a CIO-focused publication. Titled “Ten Ways To Re-energize Your IT Workforce”, it is advice from a workforce motivation expert: “Jon Gordon, a consultant for the NFL and numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, and the author of ‘The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change.’ He offers ten recommendations for reenergizing and engaging employees in the face of economic turmoil.”
Even with year 2009's challenging economic environment, learning has not taken the drastic hit some pundits feared. In fact, in the past year I have heard more executives talk about the importance of keeping employees well-skilled and knowledgeable than ever before. Knowledgeable employees equate to greater business success. I've also seen CLOs and VPs for HR and Learning focus on making sure that learning experiences are in line with company's short and long term goals.
That call may surprise you. You might have put storage or Gigabit ethernet or the Internet itself at the top of the list. But when I think about what's different in the life of your average information worker as the decade comes to a close, it's the instant-on access to just about everything that the adoption of consumer broadband has fueled.
From our Consumer Technographics(r) survey of over 50,000 consumers every year for the last 12 years, between 2000 and 2009, consumer broadband soared from 2% to 63% of US households. For context, home PC adoption grew from 51% to 77%.
But why is consumer broadband the workforce technology of the decade? Three main reasons:
1. Telecommuting has become a way of life for xx million information workers. We have been watching -- and forecasting -- the growth of telecommuting. The impact is immediate and obvious: more hours to work; more location flexibility in hiring and retaining; and more work-life control. Telecommuting in the US is dependent on cheap broadband to the home. Telecommuters will rise to include 43% of the US information workforce by 2016.
2. Broadband-enabled markets have triggered massive IT innovation. Google; Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and LinkedIn; WebEx, ZoHo, and Smartsheets.com; Amazon EC2, Google App Engine; and Windows Azure; open source and Web 2.0. All of these and thousands of other technologies and companies are built on the back of broadband to the home. The network innovation over the last 10 years makes the Internet 1.0 era look like a pre-season warmup game.
2010 is going to be an interesting year with economic concerns impacting the security business. I suspect that businesses will need to regroup and think about their security spend again next year. Companies will probably remain gun-shy and hold budgets close to their vests. This could set up a shootout between increasing security threats and the desire to continue to control costs. Who will win? Your thoughts?
Happy Holidays y'all and here's wishing you a Secure New Year!
Enterprises shouldn’t worry about the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals injunction barring Microsoft from selling Word 2007 and Office 2007 in the US on January 11, 2010. The court upheld a ruling that an XML feature included in Word infringed on a patent held by i4i.
Of course you can build it from scratch or by combining best-of-breed components, but that will not be the most cost effective approach for enterprises that need flexible and productive (from the perspective of the developer) integration tools.
The recent announcement by GXS and Inovis of their intent to merge will not result in a significant realignment of the B2B service provider space, but it will make the largest provider evener bigger when the current largest provider (GXS) combines with the fourth largest provider (Inovis).
What will each vendor gain from the merger? For GXS, the initial answer is new customers. Even factoring in existing customer overlap, GXS stands to gain an additional 10,000 or more new customers. Beyond that, GXS will now be able to provide its customers with access to the extensive retail expertise that Inovis obtained via its acquisition of QRS several years ago. In particular, the Inovis Catalogue has been instrumental in helping many organizations with their retail data synchronization needs. GXS also gains the expertise of Inovis’ experienced and proven development team.
We often hear about how important enterprise mobility is to businesses. For years ICT events companies have been holding events about "enterprise mobility" and "the future of wireless" etc - and they have filled halls with attendees and sponsors/exhibitors.
But really - is mobility really that important to businesses? Weren't the people with "mobile" in their title the first to go when the global financial crisis hit? And point me to more than a handful of businesses whose business relies on their mobility capabilities.