Companies should continuously test new technologies to enhance their workflows and teams. When you find a tool you like, hitting that annual subscription button when your free trial ends can be tempting. Opting for monthly payments rather than upfront annual subscriptions is the smarter way to go.
The mass adoption or interest in Artificial Intelligence has amplified my opinion. You must avoid tying yourself long-term to a tool that could be obsolete overnight. Paul Roetzer and Mike Kaput discussed this on their podcast, The Marketing AI Show. What happens when Google, Cohere, Amazon, Meta, and others decide to release their latest and greatest competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT? Do you want to be working with a product that runs on a less robust, intelligent, and functional backend? No, you want to use the tools that make you and your teams more intelligent and efficient.
These tools are evolving too rapidly for you not to consider this when purchasing technology. It’s an agile approach to purchasing that will keep your business on the cutting edge as things move so fast. A year could be a lifetime in advancement. Look how far AI has come and how far people working with these systems are projecting AI can go.
While Artificial Intelligence is not aware or able to think critically at a human level, the advancements are incredible. Meta AI developed an AI named Cicero, who mastered the game of Diplomacy. The AI was able to negotiate and interact with human players. You will be astonished when you listen to any AI expert on podcasts like the Lex Fridman Podcast discussing what is possible. The possible business applications are endless for these technologies.
Before the mainstream coverage of Artificial Intelligence and the widespread use of ChatGPT, the main advantages of paying every month were around cash flow, project budgeting, the annual discount being too low, or you still were “testing” to see if it was the right fit and were planning on converting to annual down the road.
I almost always recommend the monthly subscription for LinkedIn premium products such as Sales Navigator, Career, Business, or Recruiter. Why? This is primarily because of LinkedIn’s overall customer service (very much could be the volume of inquiries) and the delay that can happen if you switch to another product while stuck in an annual contract. Customer service is an atypical reason not to consider an annual contract compared to other software subscriptions but essential to note. Maybe they can leverage Microsoft’s AI to improve responses and customer service overall.
I would evaluate your current software tools and how well they communicate, leverage artificial intelligence, and which ones fall into areas you do not anticipate or can live without having the best option available. An example for us would be our finance software. Being stuck in an annual contract around specific finance tools would not impact other areas differently.
Whether or not a company’s needs require frequent changes and adaptations, monthly payments allow you to adapt and make quick pivots to benefit your business.