Adobe's cloud computing bubble is clearly unsustainable

Javed Anwer
Javed AnwerDec 28, 2016 | 18:06

Adobe's cloud computing bubble is clearly unsustainable


Adobe is a world leader in imaging software, with photographers and designers using its products. The more professional ones, with deep pockets, use Photoshop. The hobbyists opt for Lightroom — a standalone program you can buy for your computer and then use.

But, like all other software companies, Adobe too is interested in cloud computing. It doesn’t want people to buy its software. It wants them to subscribe to it, which is a more lucrative business. The subscription means a steady sum of revenue every month.


Also, the entry cost is low. The Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) — that gives users both Photoshop and Lightroom — costs around Rs 500 per month in India. Almost all software worth their salt are moving to the subscription model. They call it SaaS — software as a service.

Unfortunately, it’s rubbish. There might be some decent SaaS models, but most, and the Adobe CC especially, isn't. The fundamental issue is that the cloud apps take away ownership right from users. The user no longer pays for the product, and so he or she doesn’t own it.

Adobe Creative Cloud, that gives users both Photoshop and Lightroom, costs around Rs 500 per month in India. Photo: Adobe/Internet

Unfortunately, the whole world is moving towards a model where owning something is not allowed. You can stream music and videos on Netflix, but you don’t own it.

Consumers, though, don’t mind it. If a service is cheap and decent, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is you should be able to listen to music, whenever you want. This is why an app like Apple Music is good. It’s cheap and offers users access to a very impressive catalogue, which if you buy is going to cost a small fortune.

The problem starts when the service is so complex — and in the case of Photoshop it is — that this cloud model just adds up to a frustrating experience. It also consumes a lot more computing resources, requires robust internet connection, and is overall sluggish because of all the cloud components.


On a computer that runs standalone Photoshop and Lightroom without any hitch, the Creative Cloud struggles. Yet, Adobe keeps pushing the Creative Cloud just because it makes more business sense and users don’t have other good alternatives.

Surely, there is a place for cloud apps in the world. But ideally none of these apps ought to be complex like Photoshop and Lightroom.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Last updated: December 28, 2016 | 18:06
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