Remember the days when you could just open Microsoft Office, and it just worked? Then the time came when you’d get the annoying notice to upgrade to a newer version, and finally, forced subscriptions. Subscription-only tech has slowly become the norm, and it’s an obvious irritant to nearly every user. While many don’t mind paying for cloud or storage space as a security expense, paying for software via subscription is often a waste of money.
Forced Software Subscriptions
What are forced software subscriptions? Well, at first it seems like it’s a great idea. You pay month to month for the software you use all the time except nearly all of that software used to be available with a one-time purchase per device. But times change, and it’s reasonable that many of these companies have modified their business model to accommodate the time they spend on updates and security patches. So, when is forced software a waste of money and when are you getting what you pay for?
Most people will never use the full-capability of the software they’re paying for. For example, Microsoft Word has over 1200 features! Most people will only type, occasionally change the font, and use spellcheck. This business model works very similarly to term life insurance. You pay monthly for something that you will get. But the company behind it makes money because you’ll never actually get everything you pay for. People are starting to sell their term life insurance policies. It’s time that people start shutting down forced software subscriptions too.
Cost on Businesses and Consumers
Typically, consumers will pay for cloud storage and basic software regularly. Overall, they maybe spend $15 a month. But businesses play a bigger game. They are spending $4,500 a year on CRM software and hundreds of dollars monthly for add-ons. The cost of software subscription services is taking a toll, and part of it is because of how many software options are available. Companies will often have a difficult time choosing between software companies because nearly all of them have outstanding reputations.
From the beginning of a company’s life, just in opening their website, they have to choose between hosting platforms and more, which often renew annually at hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. Is the cost on businesses and consumers worth it? For businesses, maybe. If a company chooses the right software and gets a reasonable amount of utilization out of it, they’re also getting peace of mind regarding support and security. However, consumers don’t often get these benefits. Consumers are getting less out of these deals.
Finding Alternative Options
Are there alternatives to Microsoft Word, QuickBooks, Dropbox, and even a cold storage system? Most of these alternatives have either a one-time payment or are completely free. The key to finding good alternatives is identifying software options that come with a community. The popular options are often first choices because consumers know that they can get help if they need it. But when you look at OpenOffice, it’s an opensource software meaning that only the community is available if you need help.