In 2013, Adobe announced the end of perpetual licensing and the introduction of a new subscription-based model, known as Creative Cloud. While this change was met with enthusiasm by many customers, it raised some concerns with others.
Unfamiliar with how Creative Cloud works, they feared it might eat up bandwidth, require a constant Internet connection, or create security risks – none of which are true, by the way. While other concerns persisted, like the idea of being “squeezed” by Adobe’s subscription model.
At Softchoice, we recognize that Creative Cloud is a major change for our clients. But on closer inspection, it’s a positive change, and one which benefits everyone. We’ve previously written about the new features and performance improvements of Creative Cloud 2015 for end-users. But there’s more than a few great benefits for IT too.
Let’s look at some of them:
1. Creative Cloud is audit-proof
First, the big one – visibility and compliance. With Creative Cloud you know exactly how many Adobe licenses you have deployed in your environment, and who has them. You can also see the cloud storage use for each user, to confirm whether they are actually using the software—allowing you to scale back on unused licenses.
More importantly, because Creative Cloud is subscription-based, there’s less chance of deploying licenses beyond your Adobe agreement and finding yourself unexpectedly out of compliance. And make no mistake, the cost of non-compliance can be huge.
If you’re still using perpetual licenses, the risk of noncompliance is more common than you might think. As businesses grow, they often lose track of how many licenses they have deployed, leaving them open to hefty fines in the event of an Adobe audit. We developed the Adobe Licensing TechCheck to help address this problem. We encourage you to check it out if you’re still using CS6 or older.
2. Creative Cloud is easy to install and update
Next, let’s talk about manageability. Perpetual licenses traditionally left IT managing every installation and upgrade from Adobe. But with Creative Cloud, that job now shifts to the user, freeing up your time for more important projects.
All you need to do is purchase your Creative Cloud licenses through Softchoice, and assign them to your users via the Adobe console. Assuming that your users have admin rights, they’ll then receive an automated email to login and set up their own applications. New updates are handled in the same way – through the end-user. Just imagine what you can do with all that free time? Of course, if you prefer to still manage the process, deployment and updates can be centralized through Creative Cloud Packager.
3. Smart licensing
Previously, perpetual licenses of Adobe could only be installed on a maximum of two devices—for example, a work and home computer—with no easy way to revoke the license from an employee if, say, they left the organization.
Creative Cloud solves for this problem. Not only can you revoke licenses and assign them to new users, but departing employees also will lose access to work files. You’re able to continue making use of your software investment, while simultaneously improving security; two birds with one stone.
4. Predictable budget
While some customers are resistant to Adobe’s new subscription-based pricing, there’s little question it makes huge financial sense from a procurement and accounting perspective. Instead of a major budget expense every few years—during which IT managers typically over-estimate on licenses to allow for growth—Creative Cloud offers a more predictable and manageable approach, with lower fees spread out over time.
Take a look at this pricing comparison of Adobe’s Creative Suite Master Collection (with active maintenance, renewed annually), versus Creative Cloud 2015.
As you can see, the economics of Creative Cloud work to your advantage, saving you money both upfront, and over the long term. And while many assume subscription means paying a monthly fee, your Creative Cloud agreement is actually invoiced annually or on a multi-year basis (your choice).
This all means fewer major expenditure spikes, and greater cost predictability, opening up budget for other, more important IT projects.
5. Creative Cloud is future-ready
Finally, let’s talk about support, which is set to become a major pain in the years ahead if you remain on CS6 or older. Support for past Adobe suites is uncertain. Technically, the end of support for CS5, CS5.5 and CS6 were all in 2014, with notable exceptions based on support contact date.
In May 2014, Adobe CS6 became unavailable for purchase, with support ending in June 2014. And though Adobe is still issuing patches and security updates, there will be no new features moving forward. It’s certainly a reason to consider migrating to Creative Cloud, along with the fact that many of your competitors have already done so, or will be migrating in 2016.
Making the move to Creative Cloud
Creative Cloud offers many benefits, not just for end-users, but for IT pros as well, especially when it comes to ongoing management and your budget.
What’s the next step? We recommend scheduling a call with one of our Adobe licensing experts. Our Adobe Team has over 20+ years of collective experience with Adobe, to help you make the right licensing choices for your business and plan for the future.