The shift to subscription licensing has been driven by three key marketplace trends: customer demand for flexibility (shorter license term commitments); Wall Street for financial transparency; and software development organizations for lower support costs.
Like managing any transition, taking advantage of the potential benefits requires effort and careful analysis of current and historical data. For maximum metered license flexibility from firms such as Autodesk, here are the 3 basic steps you need to take (what we like to call TED):
- Take stock of your existing entitlement inventory.
- Examine whatever information you have on your license use patterns.*
- Determine when, and if, you should take advantage of flexible licensing for each of your applications.
*If you don’t have the right infrastructure and process in place to report your use patterns and what projects are driving peak use, you will need to look for new tools and reports. Cetrus Process Meter is a tool that can provide the most detailed use information available. Check out this case study HERE.
The Impact of Patterns and Data
We’ve seen companies try making the Autodesk license transition with different approaches and varying degrees of success. Most companies primarily look at how many licenses they have today, then try to identify the cost-effectiveness of a single or multi-year license maintenance vs a subscription purchase. We think that’s a reasonable quick-fix option, but not necessarily the most accurate or economical approach.
Seasonal or project driven spikes can have a monumental impact to your license decision making. If your license use has these patterns, you need to look at the difference between your consistent base use, and peak use cycles to determine the best specific licensing options for your organization.
Longer terms mean lower per month costs, but this allows greater periods of non-use for a portion of your licenses.
Shorter terms may cost more per month, but the overall cost may be less than a “lower cost per month” long-term license if you only need the license for a select few busy months.
Once you know you can capture the data, you’ll also need to change your use reporting processes. We recommend looking at use on a more regular basis to understand when you might be on an up-or down use slope. The more analysis you can do, the wiser you can be on spending money, and the better prepared you will be for the future.
In addition, having better visibility to future projects and when licenses will be needed positions you to better plan for incremental licensing – both numbers of licenses and their duration. Short-term licensing will force organizations to change from “once a year” maintenance renewal and unplanned new license acquisition. You’ll manage licenses as you manage sub-contractors - on as needed basis.
Coming Up on the Cetrus blog:
Later this week we will be posting more information on ways to re-visualize your license use for improved decision-making.