Software Licensing: principles and strategies

Software Licensing: principles and strategies

Get to terms with the underlying rules that dictate the use of, distribution of, and reselling of software in this helpful little guide.

Published on 14th September 2023

Managing your IT infrastructure is a vital part of being a successful entrepreneur in 2023. With an ever-increasing variety of software applications at your disposal, it can be challenging to keep your business streamlined and organized. If you are not careful, systems can become muddled, and you can start to go backward when it comes to productivity.

What’s more, when you are using so many software applications within your company, costs can quickly spiral out of control, even if the individual subscription costs are not particularly steep.

Everyone can relate to the feeling of checking the bank balance at the end of each month, only to be shocked by the sheer number of subscriptions you have for services. When it comes to a full-blown business, this problem intensifies considerably.

A key element of this is related to software licensing. If you don’t identify and negotiate a good deal with your software vendors, you are going to end up paying well above the odds for software that you aren’t even using.

To help you understand how software licensing can impact your business, here is a guide that examines some of software licensing’s core principles and strategies.

Here is everything you need to know:

Understanding Software Licensing Principles

It is best to start by understanding certain basic software licensing principles in order for you to approach the subject in a more intelligent manner in the future.

Essentially, software licensing principles are the underlying rules that dictate the use of, distribution of, and reselling of software. It is mostly a legal framework that tells you how you can interact with a certain software product – whether you can modify it or resell it, and so on.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, there is the matter of copyright and ownership rights. Understandably, the creator or vendor that sells the software has ownership and licensing rights over it, which means you need to abide by their rules.

Failing to understand this can leave you in hot water, which is best avoided.

Then there are the types of licenses available. Typically, you will be faced with commercial rights (which means you can use the software but not own it), open source licenses (which means you can modify the software and share its source code), and freeware.

As you can probably tell, this is a complex subject that requires a great deal of insight to navigate, which means it is useful to partner up with a software licensing partner.

Principles for Effective Software Licensing

As with everything in life, it is important to approach software licensing with clear principles. These will keep you on track regardless of how you use the software or what your requirements are.

Some foundational principles to be aware of include license compliance (which means that your company needs to be aware of the terms and conditions of the particular software you are purchasing).

You should also conduct regular audits that verify your compliance with software regulations to ensure that nothing has changed.

Strategies for Software Licensing

It is also vital that you use strategies to get the most out of your software usage, keep costs at a minimum, and make sure you are complying with the relevant legal requirements.

One strategy that you can make use of is creating an assessment and inventory of all the software within your business to make sure you are keeping track of what you are using and not using.

You could also use SaaS solutions, which give you more flexibility when it comes to payment and are easier to scale.


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