If, like me, you’ve been receiving increasingly eager Autodesk emails urging you to action, you’ll already be aware that Autodesk will end the sale of its last remaining perpetual license software lines on 31 July 2016. The End Time has already arrived for AutoCAD, so the only way you can now buy any form of AutoCAD perpetual license is as part of a Suite, and you must also commit to a maintenance plan. Of course, any Suite is substantially more expensive than AutoCAD, both in terms of initial cost and ongoing maintenance fees. However, if you only buy software and aren’t interested in renting it, this is your last chance to do so. (Or is it? There’s always the possibility that Autodesk will abandon its all-rental strategy in order to stave off its losses, in which case all bets are off).
In sales, this is known as the impending event closing technique. You can see it in action at car yards around the world. The idea is to encourage you to buy something while you still have the opportunity to do so, preferably without thinking too hard about whether it’s a good idea. In this case, is it a good idea? Let’s examine the pros and cons.
- Last chance to buy a perpetual license. Maybe.
- Cheaper long-term than renting. Maybe.
- Very expensive unless you are likely to make use of multiple large components of the Suite.
- Mandatory commitment to a maintenance plan, at least initially.
- Unknown price vector for that maintenance plan. However, it’s safe to assume it’s not going to get cheaper over time.
- Immediate obsolescence of Suites has already been announced.
- The long-term value of any Autodesk permanent license is a big unknown.
Only you can make the call about whether a last-minute Suite purchase makes sense for you or your business, and that call can only be an educated guess at best. Nobody has any idea how well Autodesk intends to look after perpetual-only Suite customers when it would clearly prefer them to be rental-only industry collection customers instead. Based on Autodesk’s recent history, I would expect strong pressure to be applied to all perpetual license owners to persuade you to switch to rental. The experience is unlikely to be pleasant, particularly if you just stumped up big to buy Suite software.
Are you planning to take this last chance to buy Autodesk software?