There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right construction project management software for your business. First and foremost is identifying which software solutions have the capabilities and functionalities that meet your company’s needs. You want to find a software solution that is scalable, secure and can be tailored to meet your needs in terms of project size and number of users.
Once you’ve determined what you need, the next big factor to consider is cost. Not only do need a solution that fits your budget, you also need to consider which pricing model works best for your business. Should you choose software with a perpetual license that allows you to use the licensed software indefinitely, but typically comes with higher upfront costs? Do you go with a subscription service where you make monthly payments and is common with most cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions? Is an open source solution, which is usually free to license, but can be costly when it comes to implementation and integration best for your business?
Understanding the true and total cost of ownership of construction software can be tricky. Luckily, the folks at Software Advice have put together a Construction Project Management Software Pricing Guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of construction software pricing along with commonly overlooked costs of ownership. “Our new eBook How Much Does Construction Software Cost? brings readers up to speed on pricing and licensing trends,” says Janna Finch, author and market researcher at Software Advice, a company that provides online reviews of construction software. “We did the legwork so you don’t have to, and compare base license costs for 15 popular products, so this is a good reference when beginning (or finalizing) your search.”
The eBook lays out the differences in the three main pricing models. For instance, perpetual licenses typically have high upfront costs while recurring costs are low. Conversely, subscription services tend to have low upfront costs, but recurring costs are higher since you are typically paying a monthly fee to use the software. Open source software generally has low upfront costs and medium recurring costs, but other costs such as customization and upgrades can run high.
“Subscription licenses have lower upfront costs than perpetual licenses, where most of the cost is paid upfront, and open-source licenses are usually (not always) free of charge so that cost is completely eliminated. However, all products incur maintenance, upgrades, renewals and other recurring costs–add those up over time and the total cost of ownership eventually equalizes,” according to Finch.
Some of the often overlooked costs include data migration from whatever you’re currently using to your new software. If you are purchasing a perpetual license or using open source software you need to consider the hardware and IT costs that will be associated. You may need to make additional investments in servers as well as maintenance and upgrade costs. While not exactly cut and dry, the pricing models also determine whether you software solution is considered a capital expense or an operating expense. Typically, perpetual license software that you host in-house on your own servers are considered a capital expense and subscription software services that you pay for monthly are operating expenses.
Finch notes, “One of the most important things for to keep in mind about software pricing/licenses is that no matter whether you choose a perpetual, subscription or open-source software license, the total cost of ownership converges over time so you’ll end up paying about the same amount (if you use the software for 8 to 10 years or more.” This is why identifying the right construction software solution to meet your company’s needs is such a vital step. Finding software your company can work with over the next decade means the cost of ownership will eventually even out regardless of what pricing model you choose.