Technology No Longer Improving

Seems everywhere you turn today something negative is coming out about software and technology. Negative being sold to consumers as a positive. More companies moving to an online/cloud solution for data. Updated and new software is at close to 90% sold in subscription models. 

New businesses, businesses wanting to expand their offerings focus on telling you how if you do this certain thing, it will bring a boon to your business. Please don’t buy it. Ask yourself, if we could go to a single source to be told what we need to do in order to become rich; then why isn’t everyone rich and why is everyone looking to get rich? 

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Apple’s iCloud, etc. all requesting either monthly payments or a scaling payment based on server up time; billed to you by the second. Sold to you because you don’t have to have your own servers, reduces your IT foot print, after all they are Amazon servers and you no longer have physical servers. Yet today read a job description that doesn’t now have the request for “bonus” having AWS experience, how many can you find? How much has switching to one of the cloud services “saved” you over time? You still need someone who knows the cloud technology, yes the one they said you wouldn’t need letting them provide your servers still needs to be employed. They change technology at their whim, not yours, which increases price in most cases. 

All of this being done because it “simplifies” your life. Marketing is great at telling you how much it will simplify and reduce your costs; you buy it. Then realize it is costing in many cases more. You now have a monthly payment to make, still have to pay a server administrator and upgrades come without concern of your actual budget or how your income if flowing this year. 

Same occurs with software. Pay me by the month or year to use my software. Of course when you can’t pay it anymore you can’t access things you created with it. Yet, consumers and businesses continue to purchase software and services on this model. 

I for one don’t unless I can see no other choice. The majority of my software is purchased outright. I purchase upgrades when I can afford it, and when there are enough improvements to make the upgrade cost effective. The logic developers us is “by getting a continual payment it gives me incentive to keep developing”. Interesting logic there. But not what I consider logical. Why? Having “incentive” to develop doesn’t mean your development will continue down the path of what I use your software for. You don’t give me a good means to explain to you how you can improve your software and often when I can the response is “We feel something else is more important, although we know we need to improve the product there also”. 

Nebo software creators actually gave me that response once. I requested a feature to create sub-notebooks (lesser), and an improved method to add new pages. Currently if you have 100 pages in a notebook the ability to add a new page will ALWAYS place the page as the last page of the notebook. Come on people, this is an electronic notebook and if I am keeping things in chronological order I like to have most recent on top. I am sure a majority would agree with me on this. Even this one was placed on hold with no definite time to create the improvement. Now fortunately Nebo is not a monthly payment, I will work with the page creation problem because I like how Nebo works; well until something better comes along. If you haven’t improved the simple thing of determining where to add a page in a notebook I will move to the new one that felt this was an important feature to include. 

My bookmarking program is an annual subscription. It is the best I found and there was no other choice. I also made the choice because should I stop payment, it keeps working in the current state it is with the premium features and just prevents me from using the premium features in creation rather than those that already exist. Without this I wouldn’t have subscribe to the product. 

Others don’t have these. You purchase, you pay, they decide what needs improvement without too much user input. You get updates and find features you’re looking for aren’t there. 

Adobe and Creative Cloud. A joke. I’m not paying you $50 a month to use software to create something that once I can’t afford your $50 per month I can no longer edit or use. 

So why do we as consumers and businesses continue to let companies drive the model we use? Why do you decide to pay $50 a month for software as a service when you have something you already own? Sure it is updated, sure it can possibly do more, but in the end what do you have? Sure they can keep moving down the model as developers, it is their choice. But if consumers and businesses aren’t buying it who do you think will win this battle? Consumers and businesses will win the battle, period. When a software company can’t sell the product on a monthly subscription, they will rethink and change direction again. We can get back to the old way. 

Accounting, we have to keep those records for 7 years; pertaining to taxes; longer for other legal aspects. You go bankrupt, doesn’t mean you are off the hook for record keeping, someone has to have it after all it is the law. So who pays for it? Do you not pay for it and then buy it again if you need it? Doing so many mean two things, the company you paid for this service doesn’t have your data, or the data hasn’t migrated to upgrades done since the last time you used it and suddenly you can’t access data you are responsible to have. Think they will give you a nice little package as a backup you can store that includes the software? Not happening, not now, not ever. 

We need to once again rethink what we are doing. Believe it or not it is okay to say something isn’t working like we planned and change course back to the old way of doing things. No matter what we think we improved, some times the very thing we improved didn’t need improving. This is the case with moving from your servers to cloud based and paying for software as a service. The only one losing in both cases are consumers and businesses buying these products and services.

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Author: aallord

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