What Is Concurrent Licensing? – And Concurrent License Pros And Cons
After developing software, it's time to start thinking about monetization and distribution, including which form of software license management will work best for your business model and user base.
Software licensing strategies aim to protect your intellectual property (IP), enforce use rights, and prevent unauthorized access or use of your software, as well as setting the tone for the experience your users will have with your product. A number of different types of software licensing exist. For enterprise customers, purchasing a license for each user can end up prohibitively expensive. A concurrent licensing model (sometimes called 'floating licenses' or 'network licenses') can solve that issue.
What is a concurrent license?
Concurrent licenses are a type of software license that revolve around the maximum number of users who will use the software at the same time. For instance, if the organization purchases five concurrent licenses, five of their users can access the same software at any given time. This is particularly useful in enterprises that operate across timezones, where the same software used during work hours will not be needed in California at the same time as London, driving down software operating costs.
In a single device or per seat license model, the business will need to be licensed for each user, meaning multiple users can't share the same license. With a straightforward concurrent model, the business can effectively spread licenses among multiple users, providing they do not need access at the same time.
Concurrent licenses: pros and cons for secure data
Advantages of the concurrent license model include:
Cost-efficiency – by only paying for what's in use at a given time, organizations can drive down the cost of software, particularly in enterprises with large numbers of employees across timezones.
Agility – concurrent users get access and can use the software in the cloud from different locations and devices across the world, as the license isn't tied to a specific physical device or user. This makes onboarding new users or modifying access far simpler to administer than with other models.
No caps on the number of accounts – a concurrent software license isn't tied to the number of users, rather it is tied to the number of simultaneous access points. Open as many accounts, on as many devices, as you need.
Disadvantages of a concurrent use license include:
- Initial outlay – the cost-efficiencies on offer from concurrent software licenses may not be apparent as there's usually a higher initial cost than a license that is based per seat. However, if licenses can effectively be shared among multiple users working at different times, the cost benefits usually pay off.
- Purchasing the right number of licenses – from the start, the organization has to decide how many users will need concurrent access as part of their regular work. That can be difficult to calculate. Get it wrong, and the organization risks leaving users without the network license and software tools they need, when they need them. That can add up to serious business disruption and harm productivity in the process.
- Data security considerations – because licenses are shared, consideration needs to be given to cloud security and compliance, i.e., how to protect user data and sensitive networks or systems between named users sharing the same access. Often it is possible to get separate authentication data and platform access with the same license, but this may be capped.
Get the best concurrent licensing
Like any other part of your software management strategy, it's worth grappling with the pros and cons of each software licensing model before choosing the one that serves customers – and your technology and business growth – best. Concurrent license models offer greater flexibility while driving down the cost of subscription access by allowing users to effectively share licenses, providing they do not access the software data at the same time. Where per seat licenses are out of the question because of scale or budgetary concerns, offering concurrent licenses may be the best choice for your customers.
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Building Software License Compliance Programs in a Cloud World