Do I need to pay for updates or for maintenance of the software?

Definitely not! Once you pay for your monthly licence, you're completely covered. That's why it's called 'Software (delivered) as a Service', compared to the olden days when you got an envelope in the post with your software product on a disk, which you uploaded to your computer (known as 'Software (delivered) as a Product'.

Using Complyfile, along with your rights to use the software, you're purchasing a hosting and infrastructure service. Complyfile does the heavy lifting in the background, maintaining the hardware, performing upgrades, backing up your data, and otherwise performing all of the "keep the lights on" services and activities required to keep the software up and running.

Imagine a typical, 1990s style software purchase:

  • You buy a source code control system.
  • You set up a server and install the software.
  • You pay ongoing support costs: providing power to the server, keeping the server cool, applying security and operating system updates to the server.
  • You pay costs associated with administering the hardware and labor costs to update and upgrade the software.
  • You carry risks—a botched upgrade or a hardware failure—which can cause downtime or lost data.
  • You bear the costs of designing and maintaining a secure system. Do you allow your people to access the software (on the server) from other computers on your network? Do you allow them to access the software when they are not on the network (traveling, working from home, etc.)? How do you prevent your competitors from stealing or, even worse, destroying your data?

Now imagine that you're outsourcing all of the "keep the lights on" activities above [which is what you do with Software as a Service]:

  • You pay an IT services firm to manage the hardware and the software for you, including the security model.
  • And you just use the software.

That's one of the benefits of purchasing SaaS. To really grasp the economics of SaaS you have to contrast it with the economics of software license purchases.

We've taken the crystal clear comparison (in italics above) between Software as a Service and Software delivered as a Product from Scott Sehlhorst, in his seminal article The Economics of Software as a Service (SaaS) vs. Software as a Product; you can follow Scott on Twitter here @sehlhorst

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