Is cloud computing a solution for software licensing woes?

Summary:Had an interesting wide-ranging discussion with a bunch of people at a BT cloud computing seminar the other day, including long-standing contact and analyst Phil Wainewright.But it was something that Chris Lindsay, BT's head of cloud, said that struck me.

Had an interesting wide-ranging discussion with a bunch of people at a BT cloud computing seminar the other day, including long-standing contact and analyst Phil Wainewright.

But it was something that Chris Lindsay, BT's head of cloud, said that struck me. Given today's wall-to-wall marketing and PR around how marvellous cloud computing is, I had to ask why you might not go the cloud route.

Chris pointed out that licence management and virtualisation are big issues for large enterprises. They need to ensure they're compliant for a range of good reasons but they find that often people in the organisation using software that the IT department never knew they had. Conversely, they also find themselves paying for licences that they never use.

Ian Gotts of Nimbus chimed in, saying that such shelfware goes away when you park your apps in the cloud, and the savings involved could be entirely unanticipated. Tim Barker of Salesforce added that research by Forrester found that 10 percent of software is shelfware, and Phil noted that provider means you never have to worry about licences.

It wouldn't be hard to imagine such scenarios as those mentioned by Chris Lindsay -- and at the very least, thinking about cloud means that eventually you'd need to inventory your software assets.

Maybe there's something to it after all...

Topics: Networking

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Editor, journalist, analyst, presenter and blogger. As well as blogging and writing news & features here on ZDNet, I work as a cloud analyst with STL Partners, and write for a number of other news and feature sites. I also provide research and analysis services, video and audio production, white papers, event photography, voiceo... Full Bio

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