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What to choose – Cloud based subscription software or Desktop version?

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In the past few years, Software companies have migrated their pricing models to present subscription-based software instead of the traditional desktop installation versions.

Now, few of the core software that I used has moved over to cloud/subscription-based ownership. Inuit has introduced QuickBooks Online. Office has now become Office 365. Adobe Acrobat has been modified to Acrobat DC (Document Cloud).

Since most of the companies are making this transition, so in this blog I shall discuss the merits and demerits of renting your software versus owning it.

The Demerits of Subscription-Based Software Ownership

1. Cost

The first evident con is the cost. If you purchase a desktop version of Office 2013, you own it and you don’t have to pay for it every month.

If you are working with Office 2013, and you would have purchased that as a subscription three years ago, that means you would have paid 150 payments and an unexpected number of payments in the future.

One of my friends has recently upgraded from Office 2003.In this case , if you are upgrading every 11 to 13 years, that’s a valid cost increase if you are making essential monthly payments on your software instead of purchasing it outright and keeping it as long as you want.

2. Dependency on the vendor

Users have a continuous dependency on the vendor. In case, the vendor discontinues the service due to some reason, the user no longer have the software. This creates an uncertainty into the future usage of the software.

3. Feeling of Ownership

If I own a software then I feel the psychological satisfaction of software ownership.

4. Software Upgradation

The second drawback is when your system is not compatible with updates.

That’s one of the main reasons why large organizations are not progressive to upgrades. When I asked it to one of the large law firm, they had Word with in-built macros for adapting pleadings and correspondence with our company’s letterhead and formatting styles.

It cannot be guaranteed that those macros will be compatible with other latest versions of Office in future.

Large-scale upgrades require software training for employees in large numbers. The admix between Adobe Acrobat 9 and 10 was important. Similarly, small things are different in latest versions that may result in frustrations.

For example, embedding a picture into an e-mail in Outlook 2010 is contrary to attaching an e-mail in 2013 and 2016.


The Merits of Subscription-Based Software Ownership

1. Cost

I’ll replicate the first con and say that the prime and most obvious pro is the cost. I take advantage of the Adobe Creative Cloud many times. I utilize it to build & design my websites, for preparing graphics for trial, to develop videos for trials and mediations, to edit & modify audio files, and to Bates stamp and review files & documents.

The last desktop suite version of the Adobe software was approximately $2,600 and that did not encompass upgrades. The software is upgraded frequently with significant upgrades.

Therefore, in case I upgrade twice every six years, I am going to pay over $5,000. In case I’m paying $50 a month for the same software package, I am going to save about $1,400 in every six years.

You get Office for around $8 a month, approximately. However, when you purchase the subscription, you get benefited with additional bonuses, like 1 TB of online cloud storage. Dropbox charges the very similar amount for its 1 TB of online storage. Therefore, it’s like getting 1TB of online storage for $8.25 for a month and full versions of Office very free for up to five computers.

2. Software Upgradation

QuickBooks should recommend up gradation and modification in, minimum, every three years. Hence, in case you upgrade or update your software regularly, it’s either inexpensive or pretty comparable to pay as the monthly amount.

It’s also inexpensive, which is magnificent for smaller corporations. Additionally, it also gives consumers the option to use software at a cheaper monthly rate and then cancel or alter your plan later. For instance, in case I am debating among the $8.25 monthly plan and the $35 monthly plan for Office, I can attempt the $35 plan for a month and then cancel or change my plan.

I don’t have to pay $700 to purchase the software suite and then conclude I don’t like it or don’t require all of those functions and then have to deal with retailers’ software return policies and other guidelines.

One of the other main pros is the regular updates. Microsoft has a site depicting clients the status of the updates it is rolling out and what it has planned and designed for the coming future. In present scenario, it’s got 52 launched updates, 43 of which are rolling out, and another 121 in improvement and development.

Adobe just launched a major update for its Acrobat software programs a few weeks ago. Microsoft also offers you the option to throttle back your updates in case you are in a big enterprise and are bothered about compatibility with your systems.

Subscription-based software additionally also permits you to manage your licenses with ease.

3. Managing System Failure

In case I have Office in one computer and that computer crashes, then I may not, just keep installing it on other new computers as I may have a limited number of licenses. Subscription-based software generally permits you to manage & control your licenses online.

Therefore, in case a computer crashes, then I don’t require calling Microsoft to get permission granted for loading it onto another machines.

I will prefer logging into my account and deactivate the crashed machine and then, install it on other new computer. Same way, in case we are working in a big firm and a secretary quits, then you can just deactivate her or his license, freeing up a license for someone else to use.


Conclusive Summary

For all of the complaints about subscription- primarily based software, I suppose it’s a notable version model for law companies large and small. The lower upfront cost means that many firms are going on the way to strive new software and features have access to present updates, which could lead to better performance & efficiency.


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