“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
I decided to start today’s blog with a quote that is relevant to the subject in hand, the world around us changes every day and in recent years we have seen more changes in a few short years than many would have thought possible, technology, and the internet, has had a major say in these changes we have seen in our homes, our places of work and also in the streets in the towns and cities of our residence.
The same adage can be applied to the publishing world, or rather the e-publishing world, with every new device that is capable of showing content and for every new technique devised to furnish these devices there are decisions to be made. Sometimes it can be quite difficult, (not to mention costly), to keep up with every new pivot and progression but that is the way of the world, as the quote says above there are many ways of going forward and, I would even hasten to add, in this technologically driven world, to stand still is in fact to go backwards.
The publishing world’s transition to the online domain has brought with it many advantages; we can avail of interactive features such as audio and video while accessing this content on any device we please, at any location. The advantages are numerous but like most things in life they can come with a cost, well for the publisher anyway! The consumer may have a small charge to pay to use the services provided by the publisher but this is only right as the publisher will have significant outlays to cover to the costs incurred as they develop and update the methods they use in our increasingly online world.
Lifetime licenses and SAAS (software as a service)
There are two routes that publishers can explore, both have their advantages and disadvantages and in many cases it will ultimately be a personal choice for the publisher themselves and what suits their needs and matches their resources at that time.
A lifetime license for software does what it says on tin, for a one off payment the publisher can acquire the software in question outright. The license will then be valid for life meaning the publisher is free to use the software and create as many publications as they choose, there are no limits or constraints, the software can be used as the publisher sees fit with no further costs incurred.
SAAS (software as a service)
This is a subscription based method for acquiring the same software, the main difference being that instead of a one off payment the publisher can choose to pay monthly payments similar to a regular utility bill, again this method has many advantages and some disadvantages, similar to the lifetime license. It really does come down to the individual in question and what method suits them in their particular venture and situation. In the next part of the blog we will examine the different factors involved in making these decisions.
As I have mentioned, there are many advantages and some disadvantages to both methods, it may well come down to how much disposable income the company has, the size of the company or what their particular need is at a particular time.
The following are some things to consider when making your decision:
Not everyone may have the funds necessary to buy software outright which is where SAAS excels; it opens the door for the publisher to utilize the advantages that current and new software may bring to their product without the need for an initial outlay that they simply may not have. By using this method publishers can always have the most up to date software at hand ensuring their product stays current and fresh.
If a publisher plans on using the software for an extended period of time then they may find the overall cost of using this method outweighs what they would have paid for the lifetime license in the first place, the publisher needs to have a clear plan for the software and how long they plan to use it.
Expanding your business
There is no one that doesn’t want to see their business grow, when this hopefully happens for the companies concerned they may find that they need additional software or further installations of existing software. The utilization of SAAS can again be used to accommodate your changing needs and requirements with minimal disruption to your monthly cash flow; again the drawback is that this may end up costing you more than buying what you need outright.
The ability to upgrade your software
There are not many industries that fluctuate with the regularity of the technological field, nigh on every day we see new advancements within the field, this industry is continuously evolving. These continuously evolving changes within software can be tailor made for SAAS as you will be able to keep your software updated through this method of subscription.
At this point I think it is worth highlighting that some software companies offer upgrade protection on a lifetime license for a nominal fee (cheaper than it would be to upgrade straight out), so the waters can become slightly muddied here.
It really does boil down to the individual companies needs and requirements, perhaps it may suit them to pay monthly as it fits within their cash flow and doesn’t require them to commit a large part of their budget at any given time to software alone.
In the same vein it may well be cheaper in the long run to buy the product outright and take out the upgrade protection at the time of purchase which will retain the consumer’s option to avail of any updated software that will inevitably be just around the corner.
There really is no right and no wrong, there is just what suits you at that particular time. None of us are the same and the same rule can be applied in business, businesses may need cash flow to fund several facets of their organization and are willing to undertake the SAAS method, on the other hand a business may have enough disposable income to buy the software and the upgrade protection outright and in the process get the whole package for a cheaper price.
The business themselves will have to weigh up all their options, decide what it is they need the software for and for how long. They may also have to look at the bigger picture in terms of the cash outlay for subscription, it could well suit in the short term but could prove more expensive in the long term and the lifetime license could be the way to go. This is a two sided coin in many respects and it is the business themselves who have to weigh up the pros and cons and ultimately decide what is best for them.
Both options offer a great alternative to the other and to have the choice will make it a lot easier for a plethora of publishers to get involved and enjoy the numerous advantages that the software can offer, the choice is yours.
Do you have a publication which you would like publish in the digital format utilizing all the advantages it can bring to your publication?
Would you like to see your creation online and gaining more exposure than ever before?