Business is strange, sometimes. We recently received an email from Business Software Alliance (BSA) demanding a complete list of all licensed software that the company uses.
We used to be a BSA member quite some years ago to protect our software copyright, but we cancelled the membership after the arrival of the Internet Age. Honestly, I didn’t realize that the organization is still alive and kicking in enforcing licensed software for every company. Do I think that software copyright is no longer important? In fact, it’s the contrary. But because software has evolved since the Internet era, piracy raids seem so outdated.
Nowadays, we hardly see any software sold in a box. We simply download one from a website after completing its payment, or we are provided with a free trial version that lasts for a specified period. Software developers instead impose protection through other methods, like making any pirated software quit automatically once a user goes online with it. Smart, as who doesn’t go online these days? Most software users have applications installed in their tablets and mobile device. Is there any way to raid these users if they are using pirated ones? Never heard of it so far. And with the onset of the cloud platform for subscription-based software service, how do you take action against non-paying customers? Would it be easy to close their accounts? The huge changes in the form and norm of software ridicule the so-called anti-piracy enforcement. In fact, software developers should adapt to the change in business model or to redevelop its software to survive the future.
I was stunned when I read this article “Silver linings – The IT Cloud” on The Economist July 20th 2013 issue, when a CEO of a new financial institution in Nigeria told his unimaginable banking story that his firm has maintained only one IT guy, the rest of its IT system processing is outsourced to cloud services.
The global research & consulting firm, Celent, estimates that by 2015, financial-services firms will spend a total of $26 billion for the cloud-based banking system, especially for newcomers with no historical burden of in-house data centers. Although it’s just a fraction of 13% for total IT expenditure in banks, the pressure to reduce cost will likely force the pace of change even for the bigger ones. According to the trend, banks in developed countries have started to outsource data processing that does not involve sensitive client information.
When we first started developing cloud services, I always pondered upon the higher perspective of dissimilarities between Windows and cloud application, besides the commonly known differences like how the former needs to be installed in a local PC, whilst the latter is hosted in cloud server, and etc. It suddenly dawned on me that versioning is irrelevant in cloud system.
You can't skip versioning with Windows applications. A new version of a software is released with some new features, but after a few months, another ‘bug-fix’ version is released with minor updates – and the loop continues, again and again. For end-users, to receive a ‘bug-fix’ version, you have to patiently wait, bearing in mind you can almost guarantee that you’ll bump into new bugs in the new version and, thus, yet again wait for another round of upgrades.
This is why I like the cloud system process better. The update of new features and bug fixes for a cloud solution can happen almost instantaneously. In some cases, no official announcement even needs to be made as we upgrade our cloud applications. Be it TimeTec Cloud or EpiCamera Cloud Surveillance, we constantly strive to improve them day-by-day! This business practice is unthinkable in traditional Windows software, as developers can’t afford too many upgrades in a year.
With cloud systems, besides outgrowing the ‘versioning’ concept, we can also adopt a lot more new ideas to extent its possibilities. Welcome to www.timeteccloud.com and www.epicamera.com!