Any company that does a lot of computer based work will obviously need specific software to get the job done. When you’re looking at getting new software, there are three main options to consider. These three are: purchasing a software license, subscribing to software on a monthly or yearly basis, or having custom software designed for you. Here’s a brief look at the three options, and the pros and cons of each.
This type of purchase means purchasing a copy of the software you need, with permissions, usually using an access code, to install the software on a set number of devices. The advantages of this type of purchase are that it entails a single purchase, without ongoing payments. It can be cheaper when it’s only required on a small number of computers.
Some disadvantages may be that it becomes expensive when a large number of computers need the software, and that it may be difficult to predict how many computers you’ll need to add the software to in future. It also requires a significant upfront payment, which can be tough on small businesses and startups. There’s also the possible downside of being stuck with the same version of the software, and having to purchase a new license for updated versions.
A software subscription is a monthly service, whereby you pay the company who owns the software to use it. According to Gartner, over 80% of software vendors will gradually shift from traditional licences to the subscription model. It can be great for startups, because it doesn’t require an upfront payment. It also means that should you decide to change the software you use, you haven’t paid long-term for software that’s now obsolete. You can also change your subscription month to month, allowing for more computers and more users as your company grows. With subscription software, there’s also a far better chance that you’ll always have the latest version of the software.
A few of the possible disadvantages of subscription software are that if you default on payment, you’ll likely lose access to your software almost instantly. Some companies prefer a one-off payment for software, rather than an ongoing cost. There’s a slight chance that, on a month to month contract, your software company might increase their rates.
Having a software development company create custom software for your business is a good option for large companies. Even though, fewer IT companies are actively looking for new clients as it is getting more expensive, it is still possible to find a company within your budget as long as it is a three figure one. You have the guarantee that the software will do everything you need it to, and because you own the software, you aren’t limited to a certain number of computers. Potential issues are ownership: does the creator or the purchaser own the software. You’ll also need to negotiate ongoing support with the company that creates your software. It may also be less feasible for small businesses, though costs are kept low by editing existing source codes, rather than creating new ones.
Finances, technical support, and software requirements are all factors to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent your software or have it custom made, and they all have their pros and cons.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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