“All of the big software vendors want even more out of their existing customer base,” said Julian Bond, head of ICT at shutter and blind manufacturer Hillarys. “It’s not getting any easier, and the new licensing models don’t necessarily simplify it. They just make it different.”
Bond was speaking to Computing ahead of a New Year round of software licence auditing and renewals. “It’s a growing challenge: both Microsoft and SAP have upped the ante. Symantec made an announcement in the New Year. Adobe will be around soon, too,” said Bond. While Hillarys, he added, “clearly needs to up its game and improve its tools in order to manage a relatively complex estate and quite a rapidly changing business”.
The problem isn’t just in terms of defining a “licence” in an age of virtual machines, thin clients and mobile devices, but also the very definition of a user and the extra complexity wrought by flexible working.
“[Software vendors] define their licence type slightly more strictly as we accommodate more mobile users working in the office and at home, and working off of multiple devices. We need to be smarter because they are getting smarter about how they are getting more money out of us,” said Bond. “Their tools are getting better and a customer like us wants to stay compliant, and has no interest in not being compliant.”