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With dark clouds apparently on the economic horizon as analysts predict flattened IT spending, lots of businesses that sell to IT are planning on how to weather the storm.

But software vendors apparently may have some ideas about how to circumvent the obstacle of potentially slashed IT budgets. Ingram Micro recently reported that software vendors have shown more interest in using lease financing to spread the cost of software out over the life of the license.

The finance vehicle has traditionally been used for hardware lease financing as enterprises, and increasingly SMBs through their VARs, have looked to minimize investments in depreciating assets and just pay for the stuff in monthly payments until they are ready to upgrade.

The benefits could be the same for software. That means that rather than paying one big up-front cost, the budget-strapped customer could turn to his or her VAR to put together a deal that would spread the payments out over a few years.

Will software vendors’ foray into this kind of financing chase the clouds away? Stay tuned.