SugarSync Move to Paid Storage Signals Shift Away from Cloud Freebies
The fact that this is happening should surprise no one. While it was impossible know that it would be SugarSync that would take the plunge first, it's been clear for a while that it had to be someone. The reason is painfully clear—unless you have some way to monetize your free service it quickly becomes a money pit. There are plenty of online companies that try to monetize their services by sending you advertising, or as is the case with Google, by gathering all of your information and selling it. But it's hard to build a sustainable business model by taking either of those approaches with storage. A different means of monetization was needed and the simplest way is to charge for the services. SugarSync is moving that direction now. But it's a safe bet that others will follow. Ultimately, the same thing will likely happen with a lot of the other free services that's floating around the Internet these days. Those free apps for everyone's smart phone aren't really free, after all. You're paying for them through either your attention or your product loyalty. Free services are either going to slowly lose value, or they're going to need to find a way to get financial support. You may have noticed that Wikipedia is now asking for donations to run something that was originally totally free.My experience has been to not rely on freebees. Sure, it's nice to get a business service that you don't have to pay for, but over the long run if the service is something you need and that helps your business then it only make sense to pay for it. Remember the saying that there's no such thing as a free lunch and remember why it's true. Those free products or services are ultimately delivered in exchange for something you have that whoever is providing the service wants, such as your personal information or for some other service you pay for. That mean it's not free. If you really need online storage, then it's worth having online storage that is secure and reliable so your data will be there when you need it. Isn't that worth paying for?
Of course the obvious question is if this really matters to you. Would you base the success or security of your business on a free service that could end at any time? Or would you pay for software and services that are engineered for your type of business and that give you full access to the features you really need?