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As we transition into a SaaS- and cloud-driven model of IT, traditional software licensing has been turned on its head

Get Schooled in SaaS
By Christine Cignoli

SaaS use is growing in enterprises all the time, with the ease of consumer apps meeting the full-featured nature of typical business software. Google added new tools earlier this week to G Suite that are designed for enterprise IT. The announced features include additions to security and archiving capabilities, plus more big data analytics for Gmail.

As we transition into a SaaS- and cloud-driven model of IT, traditional software licensing has been turned on its head. Now, businesses are adjusting to the pay-per-use way of thinking about employee work and needs. Of course, the providers themselves are adjusting too. Some have been in the software game a long time, and plenty more have started out with SaaS. One long-timer, Oracle, adopted a new licensing policy that'll double fees for those running Oracle on AWS. It'll be interesting to see how customers react.

These financial considerations are no small detail in the SaaS game. Our recent webinar on the new skills IT needs to learn to be their own cloud brokers gave a lot of useful tips on what exactly IT should know about SaaS cost models. Knowing about SLAs and provider relationships are also essential parts of using SaaS for business-critical functions. This maturity assessment is a good tool for IT operations teams to see how far along they are in defining processes and acting proactively, not just reactively.

Moving to an entirely new way of building, paying for and supporting IT infrastructure doesn't happen overnight, and it brings new roadblocks and concerns all the time. It's not a huge surprise that more than three-quarters of recent survey respondents say they're not entirely satisfied with their cloud choices. They say it's hard to find and deploy a service that's the right fit. The outcomes are costly unused resources, wasted time and general frustration.

To counter these difficulties, real change will have to happen. Some of that will be in learning new skills, such as mapping infrastructure and understanding various cloud models and how to choose the best one, according to this story. Other recommended cloud skills include cloud security design, IaaS provisioning, and application provisioning and lifecycle management.

What do you want to learn most to get ahead in the cloud world? Ponder that over the weekend. See you next week.

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