Software Costs Have Gone up an Average of 62% over the Past Decade


The FPS Review
Staff member
May 6, 2019
Capiche is a startup that was founded to offer transparency on the costs of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. According to the company's latest article, prices have went up an average of 62%, with some apps costing 98% more than a decade ago.

That's "over three times faster than inflation, outpacing even rent and healthcare." Capiche's data can be explored in a public Google Sheets spreadsheet.

And it’s not like you can quit paying. Where you could purchase Microsoft Office or Photoshop in a box then use it forever, today’s subscriptions require you to pay to keep using them. Subscriptions often work out to cost generally the same as if you’d purchased every upgrade in the past.
I remember when I first started becoming aware of SAAS models back in the 80's with various CAD and other business software. Didn't like it but no real other choices because open source wasn't common back then unless you did your own coding or knew someone. Made fun of Apple(Mac) in the 90's because back then there were quite a few options available to PC's. From 2000 to now, it's become increasingly difficult to avoid on a business level and even home use is becoming encroached upon. The big difference now is that there is a lot more open source available and Linux gains a little more every year. Interestingly enough though, MS has begun to get their fingers into those pots as well. . . .
Hmm. I go look at the article referenced to see if I can see the chart.

Most of the stuff that went up is either a price increase on incredibly cheap software, very niche, or experiencing a LOT of competitive intrusion. Lots of very useful stuff actually went down.

Also, if you bought their whole sample catalog, your costs would only have risen 33%. Working in a place that is moving a lot of stuff to the cloud and SaaS, maybe their sample catalog is meaningful for a blog or something, I dunno. A third of it seems to be project management software and another third ****ty collaboration software.

It shouldn't be hard to get under the 19% rate of inflation they quote by simply choosing your platforms wisely.
I agree with raz-0 as to the cost. Some enterprise level software is expensive by any metric. But by and large it seems software costs have trended downward. Maybe that's just my perception, as SaaS prices run lower per month than one-time-purchase stickers, and a lot of companies are doing each revision/upgrade (maybe not at release, but eventually) just to be able to keep up with security, patches, and hardware obsolescence.

Also, a huge driver for inflation that does exist in software is security. You have to place a much larger emphasis on it today... or rather, we should have been placing an emphasis on it but it hadn't occurred to us yet. That requires more engineering if you want to provide the same level of services (online access, macro support, etc)
Last edited:
Software as a service is a pain in the *** 99.9% of the time for the enterprise server market. It simply isn't very useful. Give me a licensing contract and software I can install with no network connectivity and I'll be a happy camper.
Become a Patron!