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The number of software developers worldwide is expected to reach 28.7 million by 2024, according to Statista. Astounding as it is, it points to the fact that the software development market is booming and that we are probably going to see a huge number, and all kinds, of software being created in the coming years.
But with more software being developed, what becomes increasingly complex is the licensing process—both for software developers and end users (software buyers).
Software companies will need to be more efficient in creating different licensing models and managing all their client accounts. On the other hand, end users will need to have mechanisms to track all the applications they license, while measuring and optimizing the ROI of each purchase.
To that end, both these cohorts can look toward license management software. This buyers guide will explain the basics of license management software that you need to keep in mind while exploring options to implement.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
License management software is a tool used by software vendors to automate the licensing of their software products and by end users to gain visibility into their licensing needs.
The tool integrates with the software products and helps in automating the creation of licenses. Likewise, the tool offers reporting dashboards, which allow end users to track multiple licensing agreements and understand the costs of maintaining those licenses.
License management software comes with two kinds of deployment choices viz. cloud-based and on-premise.
Cloud-based deployment: Cloud-based license management software is charged on a recurring pricing model, typically monthly or annual subscription. The software vendor charges this fee for services such as software hosting, maintenance, updates, and technical support. There is typically nothing to install as you can use the software on a web browser via the internet.
On-premise deployment: On-premise software is offered for a one-time fee, and the software can be typically used by only one user at a time. Unlike with cloud-based tools, you own the software license in this option but have to also take responsibility for maintenance and hosting.
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy: Do you offer both cloud-based and on-premise deployment options? If yes, then which one would you recommend for my business?
License management software offers several features that can reduce administrative burden in managing software licenses by automating various tasks. Let’s look at them more closely.
License model creation: Define and deploy different kinds of licensing models based on your pricing strategies, such as trial licenses, pay-per-use licensing, virtual machine licensing, network licenses, and mobile licenses.
Creating licensing models for products in LicenseSpring
License policy management in Cryptlex
License inventory: Audit the usage and status of license details, such as license versions, number of licenses, and expiration dates, on a built-in dashboard.
License inventory in Reprise License Manager
Reporting and analytics: Track under- or over-utilization of the software solutions your organization has licensed and understand usage by device and the ROI on software purchases.
Reporting and analytics dashboard in Snow License Manager
Key question to ask a vendor before you buy: What kind of features do you offer with your Tier 1 paid plan?
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and aren’t intended as endorsements or recommendations. They’ve been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.