The Software Business

Guest Editors' Introduction • John Favaro and Shari Lawrence Pfleeger • July 2011

Software as a Business The July/August issue of IEEE Software looks at the software business from the perspective of software engineering, true to its mission. But the IEEE Computer Society family of magazines offers the opportunity to look at this topic through the lens of many different perspectives, offering a more complete vision to the reader. As a starting point, "Software Business Industry Models" by Karl Michael Popp discusses business models for the software business, and shows their applications for three leading companies: Google, Microsoft, and SAP.

"Developing Cloud Business Models: A Case Study on Cloud Gaming" by Arto Ojala and Pasi Tyrväinen is an article on the exciting, hot topic of the cloud. It explores the changing business model of a company trying to offer its services on the cloud. But what about the cloud services themselves? If you want to do business on the cloud, how do you choose the best provider for your business? Here, IEEE Internet Computing helps us by offering its perspective ("Comparing Public-Cloud Providers" by Ang Li, Xiaowei Yang, Srikanth Kandula, and Ming Zhang) on choosing the best cloud provider, completing an all-around examination of the cloud.

In 1997, the book Co-Opetition by Adam M. Brandenburger and Barry J. Nalebuff talked about how competitors in the IT business often cooperate to achieve common goals (like collectively establishing a market or ecosystem). This involves sharing — but in a way that their competitive goals are not compromised. "Sharing Source Code with Clients: A Hybrid Business and Development Model" by Mikko Riepula explores a fascinating and innovative business model in which a supplier shares source code with his client, and convincingly demonstrates how this seemingly self-destructive behavior can actually strengthen competitive positions. In contrast, "The Phish-Market Protocol: Secure Sharing Between Competitors" by Tal Moran and Tyler Moore examines the problem of sharing between competitors from the perspective of privacy and security, and how IT can provide the answers to the very problems it creates through "coopetition."

For more information on the software business, take a look at the Related Resources page.

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John FavaroJohn Favaro is a senior consultant at Intecs SpA, where he is deputy director of research. His current interests include value-based management of IT and strategic positioning of software enterprises. He's also IEEE Software's associate editor in chief for management. Contact him at john at favaro dot net.


Shari Lawrence PfleegerShari Lawrence Pfleeger is director of research for Dartmouth College's Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection, a consortium of 27 major universities, national laboratories, and nonprofit research centers. Her research interests include cybersecurity, technology transfer, and risk management. Pfleeger has a PhD in information technology and engineering from George Mason University. Contact her at pfleeger at dartmouth dot edu.

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