Is the Adobe Creative Cloud Worth It?
Those of us who were used to buying software licenses off the shelf were a little thrown off by Adobe’s announcement on May 6, 2013 that the company would no longer release new versions of Creative Suite, at least not in the manner we had grown accustomed to.
No longer could users of Photoshop, Premier or Illustrator purchase software updates, install a DVD and run an executable to load the latest updates. Adobe was taking its suite into the cloud, where the company could more easily make updates across platforms and ostensibly save millions of dollars not only on support but product packaging.
But it was Amazon.com in 2006 that truly popularized the term “the cloud” when it released its Elastic Compute Cloud to allow scalable deployment of applications via a Web service.
Benefits of Cloud Technology
• Easier to access software from any computer, device or location.
• Multiple users can access data, potentially increasing productivity.
• Enables resource sharing and reduces overall, long-term costs.
• Centralized data is more secure and easier to maintain.
• Performance can be monitored as cloud computing allows for more reliable minimization of device failure, software imperfections or human error to create a better, more seamless user experience.
The fear of losing sensitive data is greatly diminished due to cloud technology. Saving important information on an external hard drive for example can easily be lost the instant you, say; knock it off the coffee table. I’ve had more than my share of accidents where, “oops,” I dropped my external hard drive. This equipment is highly fragile, even the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive with its thick, durable orange plastic protector. Still, it’s a machine that is not immune to human or manufacturing errors.
Nonetheless, many users are not as comfortable using cloud technology, at least so they think. That can be explained like with any initial refusal to accept new technology: we’ve grown a bit too comfortable with “the old way,” in this case utilizing manual software. But, look at just what happened today. Facebook went down. Although Facebook uses cloud technology there was still an outage today and of course the outage might not have anything to do with cloud technology. The big social media mogul lost approximately $22,453 a minute while the site was down. Facebook was down for about 15 minutes in the UK, Germany and U.S. According to the most recent TechCrunch article Facebook potentially lost more money, just for being down due to key advertisers and the time in which the outage took place.
According to Cloud Times:
“Social networking plays a major part in the everyday lives of many people. Facebook is one social networking site that has more than 400 million active users. The possibility of social media and cloud integration is compelling. Social networks are being more than an online gathering of friends.”
Cloud technology offers users the ability to store imperative data without the fear of your hard drive crashing and losing your life’s work potentially. Many companies are moving in towards cloud technology, with one survey claiming earlier this year that the cloud can trim IT budgets by 15 percent.
Personally, I was skeptical of purchasing Adobe CC. But, being that I am self-employed and working in multimedia the upgrade makes perfect sense. Adobe CC is ideal not only for web designers, but graphic artists, photographers, videographers/video editors, and nearly any creative business or professional. While I am not too fond of having to pay a monthly (or annual) fee for Adobe Creative Cloud, I am excited about the additional 20 GB of cloud storage and 28 applications at my fingertips, including Muse that allows nearly anyone to easily create an amazing website without the need to know code via the clumsiness of Dreamweaver.
But with so many new software apps to learn, the experience can be daunting. I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of skills one needs to develop in order to master all the tools in Adobe CC. I’ve been working with Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Bridge, and Media Encoder for years and have also dabbled with Dreamweaver, Illustrator and InDesign. I attempted to learn Fireworks and Flash, only to fall short of patience. Now, all of these software apps are at the same time more intricate, intuitive and technical. Even better all upgrades magically appear when released.
In addition to Muse, new offerings include: Prelude, InCopy, Gaming SDK 1.3, Edge Animate, Edge Code, Edge Reflow, Exchange Panel, Extendedscript Toolkit CC, SpeedGrade, Lightroom. Some of these apps were available in previous versions of Adobe. I had the Adobe Creative Master Suite 5.0 and never upgraded to 5.5 or 6.0. After all, with a student discount (was attending school at the time) it was still a good several hundred dollars to purchase. Having to upgrade to 5.5 would have cost me even more now without the student discount.
You can pay monthly or annual software fees to remain current with Adobe CC, and once you bite the bullet you can’t go back. But before we had to pay for upgrades anyway. Today, if you don’t upgrade you get stuck in a time warp. Anyone out there still using Pagemaker?
So, I was beyond grateful that Adobe honored previous users that were running CS3 or higher. For the first year, I am paying $29.99 per month, or $359.88 total. I am a bit skeptical of the latest Premiere Pro version, as I had grown accustomed to CS5 Premiere Pro. But, when the world evolves we must also adapt, learn and grow with current changes or trends, especially if we expect to make a living in the tech world.
The Bottom Line:
Adobe CC is designed for any and all media professionals, small or large businesses alike. If you haven’t upgraded you probably should. The suite costs $29.99 a month for individuals (the price is a little more for the business package) and increases to $49.99 a month the following year, but the increased productivity, ease of backups and increased security makes it worth it, especially when as a business owner you can write off the expense.
Think about how often we upgrade our smartphones, computers, etc. Technology is evolving and at such a rapid rate that we must continuously stay on our toes and remain agile enough to embrace new way of thinking and working that increase efficiency and maximize output as well as income. Learn why more and more organizations are embracing the cloud.
6 thoughts on “Is the Adobe Creative Cloud Worth It?”
September 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM
I am still on the fence about Adobe Cloud. I agree, I am not fond of paying a monthly fee and that is one of the things that is holding me back but on the same note I don’t want to pay an outlandish upright amount for the program/service. I believe just the Photograhy yearly fee Plan is $119.
Apparently based on which Plan you go with will determine which programs you will have access to? I don’t know…like I said I am still on the fence because I don’t use all the programs. Maybe if I see it in action and research it more I will have a more positive attitude with this change.
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September 4, 2014 at 7:25 PM
Cloud technology does come with an ongoing expense and is susceptible to hacking but not more so than traditionally data backup and security. The pros you mentioned far outweigh the few potential cons that could occur. It does take time to master so many new skills and keeping up with the evolutions but it is exciting what we are able to do as compared to the past. After all, there was a time when people had to hand-paint photographs and do cut-and-paste letraset for Desktop Publishing. Yes, I remember Pagemaker and I remember the first version of Photoshop…solidarity! And you are spot on, we need to embrace change in order to do the amazing things we can do!
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September 5, 2014 at 6:59 AM
Great discussion. I’m so glad to see people talking about this. I thought I was the only one who was unhappy about Adobe Cloud. I moved from Final Cut Pro to CS6.
We are not a huge company. How much will subscription rate rise?
I like owning the software.
I wonder if Apple will fix FCP X and attempt to get some of this market.
Thanks for bringing this up. I’m anxious to see how others feel.
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October 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM
I think the main issue here is that Adobe is forcing the Master Collection on everyone instead of having separate plans. Microsoft successfully combatted this with Office 365 by offering different levels of subscriptions. Adobe already released a “Photographers” plan, but they should release a “Design and Web Premium” plan and “Videographer” plan, etc. similar to how they had suites before. I don’t need half the apps they are forcing me to have, and the photographer’s plan doesn’t have all the apps I need either. Design & Web Premium is usually my go to suite, so if they had a plan that included those apps (Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Muse and InDesign) I’d be happy to pay for the subscription.
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November 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Jason, I agree with you as well. I have been using the subscription because I do a lot of freelance videography and editing. Plus, I also do some web design and graphics work. I sort of wish they’d go back to how they had it before. The one draw back is knowing that you have to pay monthly for it.
October 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Jason, I know what you mean. I feel the same way. I wish there were better packages rather than there pricey à la carte rates. If you want only 2-3, then you wind up spending more money. So, Adobe forces you to purchase the cloud bundle which includes a lot of apps you’ll likely never use. If you try to learn all the apps and truly master them all, good luck. Not many have the time and dedication to master all that Adobe has to offer. And why should we anyway if it doesn’t help in our current profession other than knowing yet another skill we may or may not use. If it’ll bring me more revenue, then by all means I am willing to learn new software. But, to truly master all that Adobe has to offer it would seriously take a couple of years or more.