Over time the value of software trends towards zero.
In operating systems we’ve already seen mass supplanting of Unix with Microsoft and now with Linux.
In the procurement space SAP to Ariba to Coupa marks a clear trend. OK, so Coupa isn’t completely free but if they really are providing people to support your setup on their system in the quoted prices – then the software element of the deal is pretty close to free. (With thanks to the doctor for the Coupa story).
Then in the sourcing space, Whyabe is already offering software for free.
Of course things are never as simple as they seem:
- Free versions of software tend to have less bells and whistles than the chargeable versions.
- There are always lots of revenue opportunities for software companies outside of selling just the software itself.
But overall the direction of software pricing is only going to go one way.