Is Adobe’s Creative Cloud a Good Thing

Adobe’s Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, etc) is probably the most pirated software in the world (my opinion).  In many industries, it’s considered the de-facto standard for today’s graphics, video and media productivity tools.  So, obviously, Adobe had to do something to get their piracy under control, and re-establish some of that missing monetary value.

The chosen route?  Monthly subscriptions to their software.  This has the benefit of only paying for what you need.  You pay a monthly amount for each month you want it.  New upgrades?  No problem.  Just get it as needed.  It’s not hosted on the internet, so you just download and install.  Plus, the costs are usually lower over the lifespan of the product that you use.  

Let’s assume you want the latest Photoshop.  One website listed it as $728.  Also, within 3 years, you probably would have purchased an upgrade for $200.  But, Creative Cloud would sell it to you for $20 per month.  It would take 46 months of usage to equal that price, and you would get some cloud storage and upgrades out of it.

Sounds great.  Why wouldn’t you?  Well, many smaller businesses (SMB market) that are privately owned are usually measured by their EBIDTA as to the health and profit of the company.  Those businesses would rather spend Capex over Opex, since Capex is depreciated over time.  And software licenses can be applied to Capital Purchases, since it gives value to the company. 

However, now that Adobe has gone to a subscription-based model, you can no longer apply this to CapEx.  It must be opex, and it hits your expense budget immediately.  Now, for $20/month, you can probably afford it.  Unless your company has a large adobe team.

Overall, I can see this being a benefit.  But, I can also see this being a nightmare of IT centralization of license usage and purchasing, along with budgets.  Especially since this came out of no-where, and in the middle of the year where many companies are only half-way through their already approved budgets.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

**UPDATE** – Check out Terri White’s 5 Myths to Adobe’s Creative Cloud:

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