Google’s philosophy on pricing for business technology is simple: It should be easy to understand — not so complex that it requires an assessment tool — and it should follow Moore’s law and decrease over time, or deliver added functionality for the same fee. For example, Google Docs has gained new features like voice typing and research, which are available to our customers at no additional charge. Finally, pricing should contain no hidden fees — Google Apps for Work is a flat $50 per user per year.
What’s more, you shouldn’t be held hostage for an extended period of time by your enterprise agreement, or be forced into predatory software audits. You should have the freedom to add or subtract functionality and users as you need, and pay only for what you use. Many CIO’s I know want this simplicity so they can focus on their user experience. Unfortunately, the traditional world of enterprise pricing is fraught with complexity: lock-ins, audits, hidden costs, paying for the same software again and again, even paying more for the same stuff. It makes no sense!
At first glance, a long-term enterprise agreement may seem like a good way for IT decision makers to find value in this world of pricing complexity, but in reality it can be more damaging than you think. Most businesses don’t upgrade that often, so getting upgrade rights for programs that help you unlock the full potential of your investment are irrelevant — it’s usually cheaper to just buy the next version. And more importantly, you’re locked into these agreements for at least three years — a lifetime in today’s world of tech disruption.
As your vendor holds you hostage, the technology landscape moves forward through three new generations of smartphones, countless software improvements and whole new categories of technology products. Your business is left struggling to catch up. There’s greater competition in the market than ever before, and many vendors are ready to play ball and provide a la carte services, so this is particularly hard to swallow.
So repeat after me: “No more EA’s!” Let’s break the cycle once and for all and restore some sanity to business technology pricing.