Randy covers owning software vs. renting it: Perpetual Licensing vs. the Subscription model. Is having the latest software or service better than owning the software for keeps?

Perpetual Licensing – What is it?

  • License that lets the customer use the program long-term, and you can purchase the term for how long you would like support on that software. You basically own the software and are just purchasing the support for it.
    • A benefit to perpetual licensing is that it makes sense financially for some companies because it tends to cost less over time, as opposed to Subscription licensing (more on that below).

Subscription Licensing – What is it?

  • Payment is recurring
    • Typically monthly or yearly licensing for a product you’re using.
      • If you stop paying, that software will typically stop working or annoy the crap out of you.
  • Has smaller startup cost than just buying the actual software.
    • I think it’s great for huge companies, as long as the monthly price is low. I also think it could be good if you’re wanting to try out the most professional software, but aren’t sure if you want to fully jump in, buying thousands of dollars of high-end software. An example of this would be Adobe creative Cloud. Students and Teachers can get all of Adobe’s applications for under $250 a year. If you’re using these things for your career, it might be a no-brainer.

Conclusions: Finding the lesser of two evils. A subscription license will guarantee you the latest updates and support on your software, as long as you don’t stop paying for a split second. The down-side is that it often ends up costing more over time. It will depend on your organization’s size which will make the most sense, like I said earlier (the example of people coming and going from your organization).

Closing Remarks

I’d like thank our audience and our guest, Christa, for putting time aside to listen to the podcast.

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