Is the business world ready for embedded controls in software?

I was at the SAM Summit last week ( – check it out for future years as I was very pleased with the dialog’s started) and the topic of embedded controls came up (think Adobe’s License Manager or Microsoft’s Vista for example) in a small group session I was leading.

The question we were dealing with is “what did we think was the future or embedded controls and would the user community rebel”. My group was a nice blend of 3 reps from end-user companies, 2 tool reps, 1 publisher rep and myself (a SAM services rep). Quite frankly, with this blend we didn’t answer the question…but we had some great dialog.

From the industry side (tools & publisher) came the steadfast belief that these controls are here to stay and are necessary. From the end-user side came a lot of uncertainty and concern…but frankly none of them had even tested the controls yet to know if their concerns were founded.

Now, don’t take me wrong…I am not envious of any company facing enterprise-wide rollout of software with embedded controls – I’ve lived in the IT world too long to think it’s going to go smoothly. However; until we at least test it – it’s pure speculation! I know some of my readers have to have tested (and some potentially deployed) software with embedded controls. What’s your reaction? What has experience shown you?

Are embedded controls bad for the end-user community or can they do their job and simplify our SAM headaches? Who should have control over who the control reports to (publisher or internal SAM)? Give us your thoughts and experience.

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