The adoption of the Ten Principles will help ITAM professionals to focus on those activities that support strategic, business goals, not simply license compliance.
On 13th April 2021, two, high-profile IT business user associations in France jointly launched their “Ten Principles of Fair Software Licensing for Cloud Customers”. The Ten Principles, which were endorsed by Cédric O, French Secretary of State for Digital Transition and Electronic Communications, aim to tackle the unfair practices of certain software companies, which both associations cited as “harming the digital transformation of organisations of all sizes as they move to the cloud.”
The ITAM Forum supports and endorses all of the ten principles proposed. Martin Thompson, founder of the ITAM Forum, responds positively, “There are many, common practices within the software industry that only appear to serve the interests of software publishers, much to the detriment of users. The risk of cloud vendor lock-in for example, or restrictive software usage rights, can be a minefield for organisations, not to mention the overly complex nature of software licensing in general. These practices can hinder businesses and their digital transformation ambitions and indirectly hurt the software industry.
“The Ten Principles will also help the ITAM industry because they free up ITAM teams to focus on the key areas where they can deliver the most strategic, business value. ITAM has played a significant role in helping organisations to navigate the complexities and nuances of software licensing, particularly in the face of an increasingly audit-focused software industry. But, this is a distraction ITAM teams can do without. If these principles become widely adopted, ITAM professionals will be able to focus their attention on the role ITAM plays in areas such as information security, risk management, agility and digital transformation. It is for this reason we endorse the proposed principles.”
The Ten Principles (visit https://www.fairsoftware.cloud/principles/ for more):
- Licensing Terms Should Be Clear and Intelligible
- Freedom to Bring Previously Purchased Software to the Cloud
- Customers Should Be Free to Run their On-Premises Software on the Cloud of their Choice
- Reducing Costs through Efficient Use of Hardware
- Freedom from Retaliation for Cloud Choices
- Avoiding Customer Lock-In Through Interoperable Directory Software
- Equal Treatment for Software Licensing Fees in the Cloud
- Permitted Uses of Software Should Be Reliable and Predictable
- Licences Should Cover Reasonably Expected Software Uses
- Permitting Fair Software Transfers
In addition to launching the ITAM Forum in 2020, Martin previously founded, in 2014, the Campaign for Clear Licensing, an independent, not-for-profit, global organisation that campaigns for clear licensing, manageable license programs and the rights of business software buyers. Martin is also the founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals.