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Barracuda uncovers user issues with cloud licensing

A failure to provide customers with a menu of payment options for cloud services could be a problem, according to the vendor's research

If pricing and licensing models are not flexible enough they risk being a factor that can hold back further adoption in cloud services.

Payment models continue to evolve, moving from the traditional annuity approach to monthly and beyond, and customers are looking for different ways to pay for cloud services.

Research from Barracuda has found that 41% of organisations felt that firewall pricing and licensing was not approriate for the cloud and that was an issue.

When customers were quizzed by the firm on what they would like to see 73% responded that they wanted flexible pricing options that included pay-as-you-go and metered.

Only 23% were happy paying for cloud-based security tools in the same way they had always paid in the past.

Chris Hill, director business development EMEA at Barracuda, said that it looked closely at licensing models to make sure it could provide customers with choices.

"We are an on-premise firewall provider as well and the cloud is very different so a lot of our time and research has been digging into why that is and what the customers are thinking and you can't do the same thing in the cloud as you do on-premise," he said.

"There are different ways of buying your stuff in the cloud and we make sure that we can adapt to the different consumption models that there are in the cloud," he added.

Hill said that bring-your-own licenses, meter billing and other models were emerging and vendors needed to keep a close eye on the way users wanted to pay for services.

He said that when cloud first emerged most vendors tried to shoe-horn in their traditional licensing approaches but that had come under pressure and more flexible methods had been needed.

"The thought process hads gone from not paying for the physical box anymore but for what they use and that allows in turn the chance to utilise some of the features of the cloud, with the chance to deploy more than you could on premise in a distributed world," he said.

"Pricing models have helped the users with flexibility and we have adapated to make sure we can sell that way. One of the biggest bottlenecks is people worried about the licensing models in the cloud. They have the technology they love on premise and want to be able to do the same in the cloud but realise they can't afford to do what they are doing there if they follow the same model and that is a blocker," he added.

The other highlights thrown up by the Barracuda survey included uncovering the ongoing belief from the majority of customers that on-premise security is superior to cloud.

That showed that there was more education work needed from the channel to underline it can often be the opposite situation.

There were also some signs that customers recognised that cloud security tools would be useful but they needed some help in setting it all up and managing the technology.

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