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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploration of Complexities for Migration of Software-Licensing Models
by Mulchahey, Kenneth E., D.B.A., Capella University, 2019, 157; 13806407
Abstract (Summary)

Some independent software vendors might not endure the reduction in revenue and increased costs associated when they switch software license models. The lack of identified and prioritized complexities might lead to potential increased revenue loss or prevent small and medium-sized independent software vendors within the United States from migrating from perpetual software licensing to subscription-based models. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore, document, and describe organizational complexities and their prioritization in contributing to the failure or success of software license model migration. The research questions for this qualitative case study included a Primary Research Question: What complexities can senior management of small and medium-sized independent software vendors (ISV) encounter when migrating from a perpetual license model to a subscription-based licensing model? Supporting Research Question 1: What is the prioritization of the complexities determined to be a factor in the migration of software licensing models? Supporting Research Question 2: How do identifying and prioritizing complexities affect decision-making to mitigate potential initial revenue loss? For this study, eight managers were recruited from a small to medium sized independent software vendor. Specifically, participants in the sample were managers who have worked within the software industry for at least four years, had knowledge of the company’s existing software license model, and were involved in the consideration of migrating from a perpetual license model to a subscription-based licensing model. The data collection methods for this research were face-to-face interviews, a focus group, and direct observations. The multi-criteria decision analysis theory and diffusion of influence theory served as the conceptual framework for this research. The framework provided a model for software vendor executives to identify and prioritize complexities and reduce the initial loss of revenue during license migration. Eight themes emerged: financial, go-to-market, infrastructure, reorganization, security, training, and unknown strategy. There was a consistency between the themes and literature. The data was consistent with the multi-criteria decision and diffusion of influence theories. The results indicated four key findings: support functions were less aware of complexities, no evidence of a clear strategic plan was present, the most significant complexity anticipated was the go-to-market complexity, and there was a direct effect on decision-making in identifying and prioritizing complexities. Exploring and understanding the totality of complexities an independent software vendor may encounter, the prioritization of those complexities, and adjusting decision-making to compensate for those complexities, while establishing and following a communicated strategic plan may significantly reduce the potential for financial loss, increase market positioning and competitive advantage. The results and limitations may provide areas for future research. Future studies should seek to conduct similar studies with multiple independent software vendors to provide additional levels of validation and reliability. Such studies should include independent software vendors who have successfully and unsuccessfully migrated license models.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marbury, Raymond
Commitee: Dunfee, Charlene, Wan, Isabel
School: Capella University
Department: Business and Technology
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Information Technology
Keywords: Complexities, Licensing, Licensing-models, Perpetual, Software, Subscription
Publication Number: 13806407
ISBN: 978-0-438-97869-0
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