GigaOm’s article highlights and issue that is beginning to trouble more and more companies looking to push out cloud-based apps (or move existing apps into the cloud), namely: software licensing.
The issue is not so much licensing the app being pushed to the cloud (although that brings with it its own special issues… food for later thought!). The issue is software underlying the web app (or deployment of existing app). Because many enterprise software licensing systems either have not been updated to take into account cloud deployment (ex. a multi-core platform hosting numerous VM’s with a single virtual CPU core), or worse, that are specifically stacked not to permit cloud deployment, this can be a huge stumbling block for companies seeking to “go cloud”.
It is important to understand the licenses you are working with for your existing or intended infrastructure so that you can (a) either work within their confines, (b) negotiate new licensing terms that work for your deployment, or (c) (true worst case) find new software that can be licensed in a way that meets your needs.
And keep in mind, the earlier these kind of details are analyzed and planned out, the more cost effective the process will be!