Software licensing is about to change--change big and change fast, a research firm predicted Tuesday.
According to a survey of both software vendors and major corporate customers by IDC, the long-time model of perpetual licensing--where software rights are purchased up front--will soon be replaced by subscription-licensing plans, in which vendors and customers adopt a pay-as-you-go arrangement that extends over several years.
"The current licensing model just does not work," said Amy Mizoras Konary, the program manager for software pricing and licensing at IDC. "It doesn't work for vendors, and it doesn't work for customers."
The disconnect between value and price that customers see in current licensing models, and the unease on the part of vendors over the unpredictability of licensing revenues, will continue to grow, said Konary. This will create a groundswell of support for change.
IDC's survey uncovered two major trends: a rapid move on the part of vendors to modify their licensing programs--more than half of the vendors polled said that they're likely to make changes this year--and a desire on the part of customers to see cumbersome, complex licensing requirements simplified.