Over the past five years, you may have noticed that more and more software is moving away from being a “one-time purchase” and shifting to a subscription-based service model instead. While, at first glance, this may appear as a tactic to get more money out of you, it also offers numerous long-term advantages.
Gartner reported that,
“By 2020, more than 80% of software vendors will change their business model from traditional license and maintenance to subscription.”
Microsoft has caught on to this trend.
Software Subscription Model vs License
When Office 365 first launched in 2013, this subscription-based version of Office was available for the general public to use. Many people were confused—they saw Office software as something you bought one time. Then, only if they wanted or needed access to the latest functionality, they could pay to get the latest year version (such as Office 2019).
However, this all changed with the introduction of Office 365 Home/Personal and Office 365 Business Premium. This new subscription-based software model surpasses the old version of the Office business enterprise software in several ways. As a business, if you want to stay competitive, efficient, and keep your data secure, you should embrace this change. So, this isn’t something you’re going to be able to avoid as a consumer of software—and frankly, you shouldn’t. Here is a little bit of information about why this change is so exciting.
Subscription Software Model Security
Recent cyber attacks like Facebook’s infamous data breach or Advent Health Medical Group’s cyber attack that lasted for 16 months are just some of the biggest incidents that have recently plagued the news. One solution for preventing these attacks? Keeping all your devices’ software updated at all times, with no exceptions. After phishing, vulnerabilities in old software are one of the most common ways for criminals to breach your company’s security, and it’s making them serious money (as in BILLIONS of dollars a year from businesses just like yours).
Subscription models ensure you’re continuously running the most updated version of the software possible. With a subscription-based software such as Microsoft 365 for Business, the newest security measures are features are automatically updated as soon as they’re rolled out—minus the need to be aware that a new version exists, download it, and manually install it on your devices.
Subscription Software & Microsoft Cloud
One of the best examples of why this newer subscription-based software model is better than the old way of purchasing software is the massive difference between purchasing software one time, such as Office 2017, and having an Office 365 subscription. They share the name "Office," so it may sound like you are just paying for Office tools such as Word and PowerPoint over time instead of all at once. While you do have access to the whole Office Suite under a subscription-based model, you get so much more with it, too.
Because Office 365 is connected to the Microsoft cloud, you’re able to collaborate on files in real time with Microsoft Teams. Do you use a file server or shared drive? Office 365, with its terabyte of storage per user, enables you to chuck that thing in the trash (it’s what we did and you should too). Backup your files? No need to spend time on that anymore.
Do you have software that tracks mileage, does your accounting, manages projects, provides group chat, share files, hosts video and voice meetings with screen sharing, manages customer communication, books appointments, etc.? Office 365 combines all of these functions in one platform that you can access from anywhere in the world. By leveraging the Microsoft Cloud to not only provide you with the best suite of productivity software ever made, but a solution you can securely run an entire business with, this subscription-based model becomes a game changer.
Automatic New Features
Subscription software rolls out features as they are ready, not just when a new version comes out. You used to have to wait between releases of software to get new features; for example, a new version of Word only came out once a year. Not so with the subscription model—when a feature is ready for prime time, you get it immediately without any further effort or investment.
With a subscription-based model, your business only needs to pay for the software it actually uses. As your employee count fluctuates during times of seasonal scale-back or booming growth, so too do your costs and software needs. With the ability to exactly pinpoint the software that you need, it becomes less expensive to onboard a new hire when you don't need to pay for their software all up front. Additionally, when an employee leaves their position, you can simply cancel their account rather than letting it sit idle and drain resources.
Microsoft's Subscription Software Model
As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft is now selling Office by way of a new subscription-based product called Microsoft 365 Business. Why make the switch? It comes down to device management—and this is what has traditional managed IT service providers very nervous. Microsoft 365 Business gives even small businesses truly enterprise-grade device management tools, making once difficult IT tasks easy or simply unnecessary.
These tools keep your devices safe and keep the data on your employees' devices from being compromised. If you lose a device or part ways with an employee, you can immediately revoke access or remove just your company's data from that device instantly while leaving everything else intact.
In addition to truly enterprise-grade device security, deploying new devices becomes a breeze. Say you spill an extra large cup of coffee on your device, or it falls into a volcano. No problem, grab another one, enter your username and password, and in no time you’ll be back up and running—with all of your applications and data exactly how you left them.
Companies that properly implement what Microsoft 365 Business has to offer see their IT demands and costs plummet. Instead of manually installing updates and tediously deploying new workstations, your IT staff can focus on the company’s mission. No longer worried about keeping you up and running, but where you’re running to.
If this all sounds like crazy talk, or you’re already ahead of the game and know that you are ready for a truly modern, connected office, give us a call, get a road map, and see how these changes not only bring a ton of value to your company, but can actually save you money. We’re here to schedule an introduction when you’re ready.