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Subscriptions vs Perpetual Licenses: What’s Right for You?

Cyber Protection For the Public Sector

Everyone knows that change can be difficult. From minor things like always eating the same food to serious examples like staying at a bad job, our comfort zone makes it difficult to try new things – even when we know the change will be good for us in the long run. 

The same is true in the software industry, where vendors have increasingly replaced one-time-purchase licensefor their products with cloud-based subscriptions. And while some customers in the US public sector might prefer an on-premise solution for select environments, the benefits users gain from more flexible cloud-based licensing options are driving the subscription revolution. In fact, Gartner estimated that 80% of software developers provided customers subscription-based options last year. 

To help customers decide which licensing structure is right for themwe’ve explored the differences between traditional one-time purchases (called perpetual licenses) and cloud-based subscriptions, explaining the benefits of each belowTake a read, then make an informed choice for which approach best matches youorganization’s cyber protection needs. 

Perpetual Licenses 

When software first began being sold commercially, products were only offered for one-time purchase via perpetual licensing. At the time, computer hardware was a costly investment and rarely upgraded. That meant there was no need to regularly upgrade software solutions either, since the systems they ran on would be in use for a long time. 

Perpetual licensing tends to result in larger one-time cost to permanently purchase the software. For some, such up-front costs may be a deal breaker. For others though, buying perpetual licenses can make sense – since the software will be used over the course of several years, organizations can often classify a perpetual license purchase as a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to account for its depreciation over time. 

Drawbacks of One-Time Purchases 

While perpetual licensing is great for organizations who prefer the idea of “owning” their software instead of “renting” it through a subscription, there are some serious drawbacks, given how data is used today. 

The name “perpetual” hints at the first consideration – when organizations choose this option, they are making a long-term commitment to a solution. Considering how quickly IT needs change, data volumes increase, online threats evolve, and technologies advance, perpetually licensed software may not offer the flexibility public sector institutions need to thrive. 

That pace of change can also impact the solution itself. With perpetual licenses, like those offered for our on-premise cyber protection and backup solutions, organizations must have an active maintenance plan to receive software updates and technical support. Without it, the solution cannot provide real-time protection against new threats as they ariseHaving such a plan adds up to 40% on top of the lump-sum purchase price.  

Pay-As-You-Go & Traditional Subscription Models Can Contain Costs 

With public sector adoption of the cloud on the risemany software vendors have turned to subscription-based licensing. While opting for a pay-as-you-go model or renewable subscription may not give the purchasing organization “ownership” of the license, it can deliver many attractive benefits for government, healthcare, education, and nonprofit entities. 

First, the costs are less than for perpetual license. With Acronis SCS Cyber Protect Cloud’s pay-as-you-go model, for example, organizations pay monthly consumption-based pricing that eliminates the need for up-front investments. Organizations only pay for what they use, allowing them to scale up storage as needed and then scale back down again just as easily. The solution’s yearly or multi-year subscription model also lowers up-front costs. Either model automatically provides customers access to software updates and technical support – nmaintenance plan is required. That can save you up to 30% during the first three years. 

Finally, by protecting data and IT infrastructure via cloud-based subscription optionspublic sector accounting teams can change the classification of their software investment from a capital expenditure to an operational expenditure (OPEX), affording greater accuracy in both budgeting and forecasting.  

Up-to-Date Cyber Protection 

While the cost savings are definitely attractive, the real power of subscription-based software upgrades and support is the peace of mind organizations get knowing they always have the most current protection for their data, apps, and systems. 

Think about how quickly online threats are evolving. Cybercriminals have greater computing power and can create new strains of malware quicker than ever before. With a subscription, the moment Acronis SCS Cyber Protect Cloud is updated with new countermeasures against the latest ransomware, malware, and cryptojacking attacks, organizations resources are shielded. 

Why Acronis SCS? 

At Acronis SCS, the US public sector is our #1 priority—in fact, it is our only priority. Launched to exclusively provide tested and trusted cyber protection and edge data security solutions to the US public sector, including all levels of the US government (federal, state, and local), as well as the education, healthcare, and nonprofit sectors, Acronis SCS understands the unique security needs of the public sector.  

  • Choose what’s right for you with flexible deployment & licensing: Acronis SCS-hosted (turnkey SaaS solution), hybrid (hosted and cloud storage), or MSP-hosted (private cloud) deployments and perpetual, subscription, and pay-as-you licensing. 
  • Simplify everyday operations: a single pane of glass offers a multi-service, multi-tenant portal so you can easily manage your clients and service management tasks. 
  • Access 100% US based support: we understand your pain points and know how to provide top-notch support to US public sector customers of all stripes, from large federal agencies to the smallest K-12 schools. 

Final Thought 

At the end of the day, deciding which software option is the right one depends entirely on a particular organization’s needs and preferences. If an organization needs to own the software it uses and has the funds to absorb additional maintenance costs, continuing with a perpetual license might be the way to go. After considering the benefits, however, many organizations may place a higher value on the cost-effectiveness, flexibility, enhanced protection, and cloud-based capabilities offered with a subscription to Acronis SCS Cyber Protect Cloud. Either way, flexible licensing and deployment options for our endpoint protection software with backup are at your service.