This conversation then took on another dimension during the pandemic as businesses scrambled to minimize their fixed costs: “The pandemic accelerated demand for subscription-based managed security services, and service providers who meet this demand will set their business up for the future,” said F-Secure Director of Product Management Niko Isotalo.
Demand for flexibility and usage-based pricing during the pandemic also came up in a recent Forrester study  : "During the pandemic, many clients became frustrated when vendors wouldn't lower license usage below baselines, even though the organization's usage had dropped off because of staff furloughs. Examine contracts and ask for flexibility to alter the licensing baseline under certain conditions and for the ability to carry forward unused license entitlements into the next year without additional charge".
Even though budgets are under pressure across all geographies and business sectors, cutting down on investment into cyber security is unfortunately more dangerous than ever. However, for a certain portion of companies, moving to a usage-based security model could be an operationally and financially prudent middle-ground.
We believe that usage-based security is the future, but we do also recognize that it is not right for all clients. We want to offer our clients flexibility and we will continue to offer traditional licensing as part of that.
At F-Secure, we’ve just announced the launch of Elements, our all-in-one security platform. With Elements, we wanted to simplify our entire offering, but we also wanted to give our customers and partners as much flexibility as possible.
Therefore, Elements is designed with usage-based security concepts firmly in mind. The modular structure means you can easily add or remove solutions and services each month, based on need and budget. This model makes it easy to build any combination of solutions and services you need, and receive one monthly bill.
Figure 1: F-Secure Elements
F-Secure’s Isotalo likes to think of it like a restaurant, a good restaurant not an all you can eat buffet. “We want to give our customers full transparency. When you go to a restaurant you can leave whenever you want, no-one’s telling you to have two more drinks when you ask for the check.”
Unlike a restaurant though, with F-Secure Elements you and your customers get a real-time billing projection so you can see what the bill will be every month based on current usage. This is available in Element’s management console, which controls and displays all aspects of your cyber defense.
This system also eliminates the need for ordering and renewing. All you need to do is configure the customer in our system and Elements will become available. Then they pay for what they use and partners automatically gain additional benefits based on their total volume.
If you think usage-based security could be right for your customers and want to learn more about F-Secure Elements.
 Forrester: How To Save Money In Security Software Negotiations: Techniques For Preparing For And Conducting Security Software Negotiations To Increase Value Paul McKay, Sean Ryan, and Mark Bartrick, October 13, 2020.