The Benefit of Software as a Service

One of the biggest trends in the software world over the last decade has been the migration to Software as a Service models. For people that are unfamiliar with the Term Software as a Service (abbreviated SaaS), it’s the notion of paying to use software on an ongoing subscription basis instead of purchasing a license for a software application. In the 90’s, users would go to the store, find the software they wanted, purchase the software, and then use that application forever. If a new version came out, the user would have to purchase it individually. Applications like Microsoft Office, Quicken, the Adobe product suite, and others would come out with new versions every few years, and users would have to shell out the cash for each new version or continue to use the old version.  For many applications, this quickly became cost-prohibitive. For example, some applications may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. During the last decade, that model has changed. And, while many complain about paying monthly for software, it’s actually a great benefit for the user. For example, I have a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud that costs me around $50/month. With that subscription, I have access to every single Adobe application out there. Likewise, Microsoft Office now costs around $100/year for the entire application suite. This lower cost means that I have access to software that I couldn’t previously afford. Furthermore, I automatically get all updates. No longer do I need to buy each new version when it comes out. Instead, updates are automatically installed on my computer. In the end, I get the most up-to-date software at a fraction of the cost I used to pay. I know some users don’t like paying monthly for an application. But for me, the benefit of having all the software I need at a fraction of the cost with access to all future versions included is well worth the monthly fee.

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