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Creative Suite 6: What You Need To Know About Cloud [Adobe]

Client Computing | Posted on May 7, 2012

Like you, I’ve played with various products within Adobe’s Creative Suite like Acrobat and Photoshop over the years. And over the same number of years, as a technology marketer, I’ve seen two major trends within the software industry that are particularly relevant to IT departments and procurement teams.

The first trend is the how the cloud is changing every software vendor’s approach to delivering applications to market. The second trend is how licensing is moving towards micro-subscriptions. This post focuses on the cloud, and the second one describes the latter.

Skip to the bottom of this post now, if you want to find out why, from an IT perspective, Adobe Creative Cloud is great.

Two ways to buy CS6

With this launch, Adobe offers you two ways to buy Adobe Creative Suite 6. While the familiar perpetual license options are still available, Adobe has announced the ability to buy through a cloud/subscription model. We’ve provided a 2-page guide to help you decide which version is right for you.

Enter Adobe Creative Cloud

The way software companies deliver technology continues to shift dramatically with their ability to provide bits and services over the web. Cloud-deployed apps bring obvious benefits. Being able to download software on demand and instantly have critical security patches applied are two examples. The one thing that will have the biggest impact on productivity (and the way your team supports collaboration) is the way Creative Cloud facilitates instantaneous collaboration – from any device, any where.

Make better connections with Creative Cloud

Creative Cloud initially comes with 20GB of online storage per person. You can buy more, and based on the growing size of PSDs these days, it’s something you’ll probably need to do. Out of the box (so to speak) Creative Cloud provides automatic file syncing so the most recent changes are instantly available and viewable to teammates.

Creative Cloud also makes it easy to share outside your network with clients and partners. From an end-user standpoint, I talked to our own design team at Softchoice.  The feature they believe is most exciting is the ability to open up files from the cloud on the go on their iPad or mobile phone and make minor changes to files and layers (!) when inspiration hits them – or approvals are due yesterday. When they’re back in the office, they can continue the work using the full desktop Photoshop experience.

If you’ve got the time – here’s a link to the recorded Adobe Creative Cloud launch presentation on Adobe TV (it’s 30min.)

Why this is great (from an IT perspective)

Put simply, the investment you’d need to make in your own IT environment for storing and backing up files, as well as providing the collaboration tools for teams to work together (like tablet app development) is huge. Moving storage to the cloud makes the infrastructure and services Adobe offers with Creative Cloud very appealing (and affordable). The additional storage options Adobe provides, when you factor in all the costs associated with managing your own storage, is also very cost effective.

What you’ll want to consider (from an IT perspective)

I don’t like creating FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) about deploying in the cloud. However, it’s also important to make your move to the cloud with eyes wide open.

Security, availability and compliance are the areas you need to make sure you understand from an implementation standpoint. Generally speaking – most cloud infrastructures are more secure than their on-premise counterpart. The ability to share the cost of highly redundant, highly secure and highly automated processes for infrastructure across many users means that the features used to make the cloud available and secure often outstrip most organizations’ own technology.

Adobe is already well respected from a security and reliability standpoint (being a trusted go-to vendor for lawyers, finance and contracts), so while we await official SLA terms for their cloud offering – I’m sure it’s not going to be an issue for the vast majority of customers.

Compliance – particularly around privacy is another hornet’s nest for data in the cloud. I do believe most organizations overestimate the risk (and underestimate how exposed to risk they already are) associated with remaining compliant in this regard. Since files from Adobe Creative Suite are very unlikely to have any personally identifiable information (PII), the risk here with Adobe Creative Cloud is perhaps a moot point. However, it’s always a good practice to ensure you engage your legal counsel to fully understand the specifics of the risk profile for your organization.

Let’s talk timing

Adobe Creative Cloud will only be available via subscription, and its full functionality won’t be released until later in the fall. The fall release will include all the products within the Master Collection, access to the community (for q&a and support), additional services (like the ability to post directly to Adobe’s hosted web service) and tools.

To read about the second trend I’m witnessing – a fundamental change in how software is being licensed to organizations – read part 2 of this series.

What questions do you have about Adobe Creative Cloud? Post your questions in the comments section below, and our Adobe team will respond to you as quickly as they can.

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