Adobe's switch to a monthly subscription model, branded Creative Cloud, for its main products has been controversial, with some individuals complaining about the cost. For IT pros, the issue is arguably even more pronounced.
A recent research note from Gartner analysts Gene Phifer, Tom Austin and John Rizzuto highlights the central issue: "Movement from perpetual to subscription license terms will cause some users of Creative Suite to see increases -- in some cases, significant -- in their yearly outlays to Adobe."
The problem is more pronounced for occasional users. "Generally, large customers that upgrade often, customers that expand and contract their use of CS on a project-by-project basis, small groups that use Adobe creative applications regularly or organisations that use a broader set of employees, and need only limited capabilities in the creative process will benefit from the subscription model. However, organisations that are light to moderate users of Adobe's CS and tend to skip upgrades may find themselves paying more for CC."
As with any licensing deal, the devil is often in the details. Enterprise pricing for Creative Cloud is negotiable, and even in smaller sites the offer of discounts for the first year of signup could tip the balance. Adobe is not about to revert its decision to stop pure desktop development with Creative Suite 6, so if you really don't want the subscription option, it's time to actively hunt alternatives.