In another sign of the growth of the subscription model, Autodesk, one of the latest big-name companies to transition from selling single software licenses to selling via a cloud-based subscription model.
On January 31 of this year, Autodesk stopped selling perpetual (non-subscription) licenses of most of its individual products. Although already, before the shift, Autodesk was seeing that the majority of their new customers were themselves choosing the desktop subscription rather than the perpetual license.
Although it is not a complete move to the cloud. Autodesk is combining its desktop applications, which will continue to be stored locally, with services in the cloud to support the primary product. However, the company plans to move all their license customers onto subscriptions by the end of the year.
Once Autodesk’s customers have been transitioned over to the subscription model, there’s another very significant benefit that they’ll gain: more frequent software updates. With packaged software, customers waited months or even years for new software updates. But by moving to a cloud-based model, Autodesk can push updates as frequently as necessary. And by making more frequent updates, not only do customers get access to new features much more quickly, any software issues are more easily resolved via incremental rather than large-scale updates.
As Adobe and many others have already proven, the subscription model offers genuine benefits. In Autodesk’s own words it provides, “a simplified customer experience, lower upfront cost and the ability to pay-as-you-go for products and cloud services…. As a result, companies can adjust more nimbly and with less cost to shifting business environments.”
Business environments are indeed changing, and the companies that manage to adapt successfully will likely be the ones to thrive.