In February of 2016, Autodesk stopped selling perpetual licenses for its digital design solution and made the decision to follow much of the software industry by moving to a subscription model. This was a change, and – like many changes before it – was met with mixed reactions from those that relied on their solutions for designing and making things.
For those that make things on behalf of the government, this shift in model was met with more than just mixed reactions – it was met with many, many questions. That’s because the government faces challenges that many organizations and enterprises in the private sector simply don’t have to worry about.
There are regulations that dictate which kinds of technologies and applications that they can utilize, limitations on how they can spend their budget dollars and concerns about being able to access applications that require connectivity when many of their sites may not be connected because of geographic or security reasons. All of these restrictions and limitations – coupled with some misinformation – has led to many government users to stick to their legacy software licenses for Autodesk solutions.
There is a problem, however. The existing program to inexpensively switch from legacy licenses to a subscription is about to expire. Simultaneously, the maintenance programs for legacy licenses are about to become more expensive and new licenses will no longer be sold. Altogether, this is creating a rapidly closing window for government Autodesk users to inexpensively make a change that will ultimately benefit them moving forward.
Much of this information was covered in a recent Webinar organized by Autodesk that was designed to cover the difference between the legacy license model and the subscription service. A replay of that Webinar is available HERE.
And what the attendees of that Webinar will ultimately discover is that many of their concerns about the switch from licenses to subscriptions are unfounded and based on misinformation or conjecture. Let’s take a look at some of those concerns right now:
Myth: Subscription = cloud.
Truth: Many government users are nervous about switching to a subscription because they think that they’re moving to a cloud-based application – something that many agencies can’t utilize for a number of different reasons. The fact is, the subscription versions of Autodesk solutions don’t have to be cloud-hosted. The application can be installed and operated on a single computer and the subscription can be validated locally if it can’t be validated online with Autodesk. This means that getting a subscription doesn’t result in getting slammed into the cloud, and even computers without an Internet connection can still use subscription Autodesk solutions.
Myth: Subscription means more money.
Truth: The reality is that subscription solutions – over their entire lifetime – can actually end up costing government agencies less. Much like a subscription, perpetual licenses only give users access to an application, not ownership – so that isn’t changing. However, unlike perpetual licenses, there is no large, upfront cost for a subscription solution. Instead of a large, single capital expenditure (CAPEX), the access to an application is acquired through a lower, recurring operating expense (OPEX). There are also add-ons and additional capabilities that are offered at no additional cost to subscribers, meaning they’re getting more capability at a similar price.
Myth: It’s all the same thing anyway.
Truth: Many of the solutions that government users acquired through the perpetual license model were acquired as individual applications. Today, many of these applications are part of software collections that also come with a number of adjacent and complimentary applications that can deliver powerful new capabilities and tools to the user without a significant increase in cost. It would be like paying slightly more to get access to the entire Microsoft Office Suite instead of just getting Microsoft Word. The fact is, subscription means ultimately getting more for less.
All changes are met with resistance and concern. Nobody likes change, and they’re comfortable and familiar with the way that things were. But the window is closing to make the switch to Autodesk subscription solutions at a decreased cost, and the time is now if that change is going to happen for government agencies. If they can put their concerns aside and overcome the misinformation and myths keeping them from making the leap, they’ll find that they’ve been missing out on a better, more powerful tool at a fraction of the price.