The latest Gartner publications on strategic technology trends are a warning to all budget managers: The Internet of Things or Big Data, Computing everywhere or context-based systems, they all will have an impact on the licensing of the underlying information systems, increasing cost of software.
It does not help much to search for relief in the cloud. The big vendors are not willing to provide processes or data residing in their core business systems to such new usage scenarios for free. In the past, vendor marketing professionals have proven to create new license products fast and with great phantasy when spotting a new technology trend. Most licensing terms allow flexibility for software makers to identify new ‚capabilities‘ in existing, licensed software that have not been worth mentioning before. In some cases, they only adjust the documentation to tell their users: This new function is to be license separately in that context! Similarly, when new processors enter the market, many vendors adjust their way of counting computing power and increase the license fees, even when the new processor potential is not used.
Now, it is all about intelligent vendor management and a transparent repository of licensed products: You not only need the exact number of licenses, you also require detailed definitions of use rights and entitlements. Even the smallest mention in former marketing materials might gain big importance. With that, the need for qualified IT lawyers is increasing.
Users of License12 can use a broad reference to original vendor data to track their entitlements, e.g. by using key word search in their inventory. Also, well archived paperwork associated to the licensing transaction can deliver great arguments. If the vendor approaches with new fees or a restriction of use rights, you should not leave the ground without response. In special cases, external consulting might fill the gaps.