Industry Commentary - 2 min read

Not all subscriptions are equal

AUTHOR Lou Crane

DATE Oct 2021

CATEGORY Industry Commentary

Not all software subscriptions are equal

There’s no doubt about it, a licensed piece of software is convenient – it can scratch an itch but how often is the long-term investment really explored?

It’s important to recognise the different types of software that operate under a subscription, so here’s an overview which is split into 3 approaches:

  1. Industry-specific software
    These solutions are often life-savers for a business. They will be created specifically to solve a problem known within an industry and will be backed by industry professionals with a real and deep understanding of the challenges. The investment behind the software will be significant and generally, they are timely with new releases and will follow industry changes closely to keep up with regulations.This type of software will carry a higher monthly fee because of its specialist status and it’s accepted by CFOs that this is an unavoidable cost to the business. The alternative of having your own version built is really only for those with deep pockets, an appetite for a large project or where it’s important to be seen as leaders and to knock out the competition.
  2. Common-use software
    This category is largely familiar and common amongst most business platforms. However, simply because these CRMs are required by a business, doesn’t mean that they are understood or that every element is needed.This is the ‘type’ which companies flirt with, change most frequently and have the lowest satisfaction rating.
  3. Proprietary software
    I expect most organisations will use this kind of software and there is general acceptance that they are needed and will always require a subscription. Most will be familiar with Microsoft products, especially the Office Suite and 365. Interestingly, 365 and Teams have become hubs for communication, connectivity and sharing – one of the pillars of need in a well operated business.

There’s a trend to utilise a mix of the 3 and companies are generally accepting of the monthly fees. However, the challenge always remains that your software becomes standalone and doesn’t offer a holistic view or make those connections between different tasks. And, the cost is no longer good value. Employing these approaches is fine, but having that longer-term objective to drive data to a central point is always shrewd.