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Buying software in the Cloud

 

These days it looks as if we the consumers, whether home or small business users are not getting the choice of how we want our software. Software developers seem to think that everyone is going to want to rent, lease or subscribe to their software ‘in the cloud’. Medium to large businesses are happy to do this as it makes financial sense and is easier to integrate into their businesses.

 

The truth is that well over three quarters of their customers still want to have physical media (CD/DVD) rather than using the cloud.

 

Studies show that around 46% of consumers want to purchase software from a retail outlet, while just over 25% would purchase physical media online. It is estimated that around 50% of consumers still don’t understand “The Cloud” fully, but most would still want a physical copy.

 

The other issue that stands out is privacy and security. With the likes of Target, Adobe, Facebook, Twitter and Evernote just a few of the many sites hacked, and with government surveillance in the news consumers are wary.

 

Over 70 per cent of small businesses in the UK suffered a computer security breach last year, according to new government research. And the proportion of large firms that reported attacks has reached a whopping 93 per cent. It is estimated that the USA fairs just as bad. You also have to remember that a lot of smaller companies do not report an attack. Companies often hide the fact that they've been attacked or are unaware their secrets have been pilfered.

 

Human errors and systems glitches are also others ways of data loss and 68% of employees admitted to stealing company data when leaving previous job. Not really good statistics when companies are now trying to get us to rent, lease or subscribe to their software through the cloud.

 

Most of us have a minimum of 5 paid for software programs on our PC’s, a vast majority a lot more. Paying for software through the cloud could work out expensive and even more direct debits that most of us hate having anyway. Most of us use the same software for a few years, then upgrade to a new version when we have the money to afford it. Quite a few companies have paid monthly plans, but they then stipulate it requires an annual commitment.

 

For instance, Adobe Creative Cloud Complete Plan works out at about £843.00 ($1,400 USD) per year, which to most of us is a lot of money, so if we paid for a physical copy on disk, it would last us roughly 3 years. There is no way most of us would pay out over £2,500.00 ($4,100 USD) for the same period through the cloud.

 

Companies need to think hard before they start charging a monthly fee for their products, or customers are going to move on to free programs that are available. The average user has too many other direct debits and bills to pay without having to worry about paying for software for their PC on a monthly basis.

 

It’s simple really; give the consumer, who makes you money, a choice, through the cloud, or physical media. Don’t presume, or bully your consumer.

 

Paul Davis

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