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Software: Perpetual Vs. Subscription – what’s best for business?

One of the most important questions to consider when purchasing software is Perpetual versus Subscription – which is best for your business? Of course, this depends on the needs of your business and how you intend to use the software. For example, is it important for you to always be on the latest version of the software? Do you expect to add users as your business grows?


Read below to see the different benefits that subscription and perpetual software licenses offer your business.  

Perpetual Software Licenses

Considered as the ‘traditional’ form of software licenses, a perpetual license allows you to buy the software and own it indefinitely, usually at a larger one-off cost. This method worked well when software updates happened less frequently, but with the current fast-paced upgrade environment, users can find themselves encountering problems as the software grows older.

As providers begin to retire old versions of the software it can cause problems with data and compatibility, potentially leaving your system prone to crashing or even viruses.

If you have bought software on a perpetual license, you’ll also miss out on having additional add-on modules incorporated as part of your plan. For example, many perpetual license holders of Sage accounting software recently had to pay the additional cost to add the Making Tax Digital Module.

Subscription Software Licenses

With the rise of cloud computing and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) the subscription model of purchasing software has grown increasingly popular.

Subscription v Perpetual

Subscription offers various benefits that aren’t always accessible with perpetual software licenses, such as;

  • Cost: With a subscription license the cost of the software can be spread over smaller monthly payments. This makes it more attractive for smaller businesses who may not have the cashflow available to outlay the cost of an annual perpetual license.
  • Software Updates: Software providers including Sage & Act! release updates for their programs on a more regular basis than they did before. Users with a subscription-based license will have the latest updates included as part of their package. This ensures that your software is always up-to-date and you won’t encounter any compatibility issues further down the line.
  • Multiple devices: Subscription licenses give the user more freedom to use the software across multiple devices.
  • Scalability: Software subscriptions are ideal for business that need scalability. Its easy to add extra users or scale down and remove users if necessary.

Get the most from your software with our great value training options. You can choose from distance learning manuals, onsite training or remote training to fit around your business. Book in for a training session now to realise the full potential of your business software.

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