Software assets are not unlike financial assets. Aside from tangible
real property, financial assets typically exist in the form of things like
currency, bank accounts, equities, etc. For the most part, financial
assets take the form of a representation of a tangible real asset. You can
exchange currency for real property. You can acquire real estate via a
transfer of deposits from one account to another. You get the picture.
Somehow, when it comes to software assets, most people don't see the
similarity. For the most part, that is due to the very nature of the
software development process. It is still more an art than a science.
How do you capture the value of the traditional artist? You take
possession of a painting, or a book, or a video cassette. How do you
capture the value of a software development process? Follow the links
below for some answers.
What is the software producer going to supply to the consumer? Will the
deliverable include source code? If so, will it include all the source
code required to rebuild the solution from scratch? Is the scope of
the deliverable realistic? Have the boundaries of the intellectual
property been properly defined?
Has the producer made a binding commitment to provide the agreed upon
artifacts of the development process? Is the consumer properly
prepared to receive the deliverables? Is there true agreement between
all the parties to the transaction?
What is being delivered? How should it be organized? Is
there a manifest? Are all the parts identified and accounted for?
Are there useful assembly instructions? What form will the
configuration take? How will the customer know if they have everything
they paid for?
How will the transfer of software assets actually take place?
Who will be responsible for the transfers? What roles and
responsibilities should be assigned to the producer and the consumer?
What form will the deliverable take? Will it install itself?
Will it configure itself? How will the consumer receive and implement
How will the solution be introduced into the user community?
How many users will need to be serviced? What resources will be
required to insure a successful deployment? How do the producer and
consumer insure the successful adoption of the solution?