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Computing On Demand

There are two major issues with "pay for what you use". The first is that you cannot -- in an online world -- always predict what you are going to use. It's not under your control.

If the advertising or PR department scores a major coup you could wind up with your systems being thrashed mercilessly. It may not even be by something that your organization does -- it could be a competitor or a reviewing journal. The major disconnect here is the corporate budgeting process that insists on predictable costs.

The second issue is that the companies that have the technology in place still don't have the Terms and Conditions to make it viable. For instance, behind all IBM Corp.'s "Capacity Upgrade and Downgrade on Demand" hype is buried the fact that any software under International Program License Agreement Terms and Conditions will still be charged for a minimum of a month at the temporary high level. Only Variable Workload Level Charges licensed software is charged on a per-day basis, so the whole scheme isn't really practical. The ISVs, of course, have even less reason to play ball and always insist on their pound of flesh.

Phil Payne, analyst, Isham Research