Recently, we have received numerous complaints from our government customers about term-based licensing in the DFIR industry. It looks like many major vendors have switched their licensing rules from perpetual licenses to term-based licenses, causing significant frustration and leading customers to consider switching to vendors who are still working the 'old way' and offer perpetual licenses.

Why is the term-based license so unpopular in the digital forensics market, although subscription-based models have become common in many other industries?

The reason is due to the nature of buyers. Unlike people paying for games, video streaming, antivirus, or graphical design software, the Law Enforcement and other government customers in this market do not on purpose, take money out of their pockets. The process of getting an approval towards their product renewals could be lengthy and tough, when you work in a government organization. It may depend on the budgeting cycle for that quarter, or year, and eventually may even be affected by an approval of the entire countries budget!

It goes without saying that any obstacles in the way of obtaining approval for license renewal can lead to delays in the process. It is not uncommon for a government customer to renew their license a few months after its expiration. However, what can they do in the meantime if their software stops working due to a failure to renew? Would it disrupt their investigations? Would they have to resort to manual analysis? Could this jeopardize their court appearances?

This is why Belkasoft utilizes perpetual licensing terms with an optional annual SMS (software maintenance and support) for more than a decade. There are no plans to switch our government customers to a term-based model, despite the recent trend. As a Law Enforcement or other government organization's employee, you can rely on Belkasoft to provide robust mobile, computer, cloud and drone forensics features, while also helping you save money on your original license purchase and renewals.

See also