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Revenera 2021 Predictions: 5 Priorities for Software Companies

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

5 Priorities for Software Companies

By Nicole Segerer, vice president of product management and marketing, Revenera

Positive strategic decisions are often the result of noteworthy challenges. Though 2020 presented more hurdles than the average year, it also set up opportunities for 2021. By distilling recent trends, enterprise software companies will be taking action on five priorities in the new year.

1. Cloud-native development will change the way software is built and delivered.

The journey to cloud-native applications and the use of container technology has taken a bit longer for enterprise software companies than for others. Some software companies are starting to retire old on-premises solutions, replacing them with cloud offerings, a trend set to continue in 2021.

This cloud-native approach to development doesn't only change the way software is built. It changes how software is delivered to customers. Enterprise software companies will move from delivering traditional software packages to delivering Docker images and Helm charts. Rather than using generic registries, many will rely on entitlement-based delivery systems to connect the delivery of their software to customer entitlements and avoid breaking their process of delivery and revenue recognition.

2. Product usage insights will no longer be "nice-to-haves." They'll be "must-haves."

Software companies have long dabbled with understanding software usage, but we'll see many companies up their game in 2021 for two reasons. First, software producers who don't understand usage yet will feel the competitive disadvantage, then start analyzing how much and how their products are being used. Second, many companies will realize that the manual extraction of usage data and point-in-time analyses are simply not good enough; they'll start using commercial solutions that provide full automation, the continuous tracking of telemetry and user behavior data and analysis and visualization of trending data over time.

3. Compliance initiatives will see a peak in response to tightened budgets.

In years of financial prosperity, most software companies focused on winning new customers and growing relationships with existing ones. In some industries, a looming recession and the aftermath of business hardships in 2020 will tweak this view. With limited options to grow and as customers seek bigger discounts, software suppliers will go back to proactive compliance initiatives to prevent revenue leakage.

This focus will prompt them to start analyzing, with increasing scrutiny, the causes of and financial ramifications of revenue lost to software piracy and overuse. Currently, as reported in the Revenera Monetization Monitor: Software Usage Analytics 2020, widespread issues causing revenue leakage include: intentional piracy (reported by 46% of software suppliers); unauthorized credential sharing in user-based models (reported by 44%); unintentional overuse from cloning of virtual machines (reported by 41%); unintentional overuse in user or usage-based monetization models (reported by 40%); and unintentional piracy, through purchase of unauthorized software (reported by 33%). Stopping the revenue leakage that many software companies know of, but haven't yet acted on, will help many to make their growth goal-balancing a potentially flat or declining new business trend.

4. Engineering teams will embrace new DevSecOps responsibilities.

The concept of DevSecOps isn't new, but it's hitting its stride. Technology now supports the tasks of DevSecOps; teams are uniting to embrace their new-and growing-responsibilities. Engineering teams own full responsibility for the code they build, including its functionality, testing, security, deployment, and operation.

In 2021, this will progress even further. Engineering teams will also take Software Composition Analysis (SCA)-the process of automating the visibility into open source software (OSS) use for the purpose of risk management, security and license compliance-more seriously. So far, legal and security experts have pushed SCA processes forward, but often without the buy-in of engineering.

2021 will be the turning point where engineering leaders take responsibility of SCA and include it seamlessly in their CD and CI streams. Engineering teams will track all components they use. They'll work on policies and automation to reduce the risk related to license obligations and security vulnerabilities. To that end, the secure software development life cycle (SDLC), developer security training, threat modeling, and emphasis on coding practices will all become more important.

5. Not all devices will be connected to the internet in 2021-or even in 2030.

The Internet of Things has matured. Use cases have become more standardized. Yet one reality-significant for the planning of enterprise IoT solutions-is generally underestimated: in most enterprise environments, many devices are not and will not be connected to the internet anytime soon. Security reasons and the need to have a 100% controlled environment still trump the need for simplicity and direct internet connectivity's speed.

Software and device companies must plan for this reality that's bound to last not just for the coming year, but for the coming decade. The goal is to enable the much-needed digital business model and functionality without exposing these protected devices directly to the internet. They must ensure that varied processes-updates, data extracts from devices, monitoring functions, etc.-all work with offline servers and proxies.


About the Author

nicole segerer 

Nicole Segerer is vice president of product management & marketing at Revenera. Nicole drives growth and awareness of Revenera's solutions for software suppliers, guiding product vision, strategy and roadmap plans, along with go-to-market planning, positioning and marketing for Revenera's solutions.
Published Monday, December 28, 2020 6:44 AM by David Marshall
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