Industry Insights with Vince Hwang, Senior Director, Products & Solutions, Fortinet

Application Security , Application Security & Online Fraud , DevSecOps

Leveraging Usage-Based Licensing

How to Enable Digital Acceleration Success
Leveraging Usage-Based Licensing

The desire for digital acceleration has led organizations toward delivering faster and better application experiences. Along the way, many have realized that this transformation is extremely fluid in practice. Applications can live anywhere from data centers to hybrid and multi-clouds to edge compute. Therefore, applications - and the security required to protect them must live wherever they deliver the most optimal, desired business outcomes, such as customer experience and cost optimization.

See Also: 5 Requirements for Modern DLP

As organizations progress on their digital acceleration journeys, strategies and objectives will evolve. So will the requirements - and the solutions needed to fulfill those requirements. As a result, organizations need to think beyond technical solutions. They should also consider how they acquire and license those solutions, as cost control and optimization are core objectives of many boards. In fact, now CFOs often have a seat alongside their CIO and CISO counterparts when deciding on what solutions to deploy.

Traditional licensing models that force organizations to be locked into fixed solutions or specified time periods are no longer ideal for every scenario. Instead, organizations need to consider usage-based licensing approaches that offer much-needed flexibility to deploy whatever solutions are required, wherever they are needed, and for whatever length of time.

This approach provides organizations the ability to turn off what they no longer need without losing the value of their investment. In this way, they can quickly achieve their digital acceleration goals with minimal financial risk.

To illustrate why licensing models matter, consider these key business and operational challenges organizations face on their digital acceleration journeys:

  • Accurately sizing deployments: Sizing is a difficult task that often leads to organizations oversizing and overprovisioning what they need - or worse, undersizing and underprovisioning. In the case of oversizing, organizations wind up paying for more than they need, which affects the total cost of a project, both in investments and operations. In the case of undersizing, organizations fall victim to being unable to meet demands and may become paralyzed by sizing estimations before embarking on their digital acceleration initiatives, such as migrating to the cloud.
  • Fluctuating demand and utilization: Organizations running in the cloud can experience shifting demands on their infrastructure that require them to either scale up or scale down - or to scale their deployment, whether in or out. Traditional licensing models cannot support this dynamically. Instead, organizations need to acquire additional solutions needed to scale up and out. Otherwise, they will incur unnecessary costs for unused resources when they have to scale down or in.
  • Unpredictable costs: Many organizations - especially those who leverage pay-as-you-go, or PAYG, in the cloud - are often surprised that they are running over budget on their initiatives. Those hourly and monthly payments for cloud infrastructure can add up quickly, and it is often too late before organizations catch the problem.
  • Procurement delays: Delays caused by the procurement of licenses, services and solutions go against digital acceleration's core mission. For organizations in highly dynamic environments, such as those leveraging infrastructure as code, delays can lead to poor customer satisfaction, loss of revenue and reputational loss. As a result, licensing needs to move quickly to match digital acceleration initiatives.
  • Shifts in requirements: In any journey, requirements can change. Organizations that adopt traditional licensing models for fixed terms and quantities are locked into those solutions for the term they originally bought and at the service level purchased.

Organizations advancing their digital acceleration journeys - whether through cloud, hybrid cloud, or hybrid mesh firewall deployments - will encounter some, if not all, the challenges discussed above. These challenges are not only counterproductive to the benefits and desired pace of digital acceleration but can also prove costly.

Successful organizations driving toward digital acceleration must also accelerate and modernize how they deploy and consume solutions required to enable and secure their goal. This is especially true for highly dynamic environments that demand constant changes and scaling.

By adopting solutions that offer usage-based licensing, organizations gain the freedom and flexibility to successfully build on today’s investment for tomorrow’s prosperity.

About the Author

Vince Hwang, Senior Director, Products & Solutions, Fortinet

Vince Hwang, Senior Director, Products & Solutions, Fortinet

Senior Director, Products & Solutions, Fortinet

With over 20 years in cybersecurity leading at the forefront of many industry-firsts and building expertise across a broad range of security topics, Vince Hwang is Senior Director of Products & Solutions at Fortinet where he leads the narrative for Cloud Security. He’s excited by the possibilities of enabling customers to achieve their desired digital acceleration outcomes through cloud and application journeys. Previously, Vince has held key roles driving product strategy and execution at companies that include Cisco, Symantec, and Trend Micro. At Cisco, he led the advanced threat security portfolio and helped forge a path for the EDR and advanced malware protection conversation before these became de-facto customer strategies.

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