Charities can find many discounted Adobe products, both cloud-based and offline, on the Charity Digital Exchange catalogue. Adobe’s cloud-based products as part of the Creative Cloud suite have enormously increased organisations’ options for accessing their creative content using apps including as PhotoShop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, Premier Pro, Lightroom and Dreamweaver. By using offline donated Adobe software, you benefit by paying only the upfront admin fee to access the product with no annual subscription costs. One of the downsides, however, is that work created in your offline Adobe products lives locally on your computer, limiting some of your options, as we’ll explain below. We explore some of the key reasons why many charities choose to go to the cloud over the desktop apps.
It’s very useful to have software in the cloud if you have different computers running completely different operating systems and with different requirements, and use devices such as tablets or smartphones. You only have to buy one Creative Cloud apps plan for it to work across multiple devices, so you can access files stored remotely in the cloud using file sync or a web browser. Adobe Creative Cloud includes mobile versions of its main apps, enabling you to manage your creative content easily on mobile and tablet devices. You can sync files from your computer to the Creative Cloud and access them instantly on your phone and other linked devices through the Creative Cloud desktop app, while your original documents remain on your computer. The Creative Cloud suite also gives each subscriber 20GB of cloud-based storage. This enables you to save large projects without using space on your own machines.
If you are using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, working in the cloud provides extra flexibility, letting you create, manage, view and comment on PDFs on your computer, tablet, phone or in your web browser. Working in the cloud allows you to complete, sign and send forms quickly – handy when you need to record quick signatures while on the move and access them in one centalised place. You can also use information from the autofill data on your computer or device to save even more time. You can then monitor activity on documents sent for viewing or signing via either your desktop computer or mobile device. Using Acrobat Pro DC also allows you to access your content in the cloud and convert Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign files into PDFs on either your computer or device.
Like all big-name cloud vendors, Adobe are held to the highest standards for keeping your data secure, with all the latest security protocols in place so you don’t have to worry about what might happen if you are hacked or something happens to the servers under your control – it’s in their hands. Adobe also issues bug fixes and security updates as needed, keeping your software running at its optimal level and keeping your data secure. For full information about security in Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, go to their security whitepaper here.
Adobe provides their desktop products from a limited stock of licenses. When the stock has depleted, we need Adobe to release further stock, so there is often a period of waiting. The cloud-based products don’t come with any stock limits and are always available, without having to wait for our new stock to come in. By using the cloud versions of Adobe apps, you also know you’ll always be able to access the latest versions. With on-premises versions of the apps you will need to pay to get new versions of the software over time as you upgrade your computer systems and as older apps stop being supported with security updates. However, you can set cloud versions of your individual Creative Cloud apps to auto-upgrade. Be aware that offline software products as a whole are being phased out by many partners and vendors (such as Microsoft) as cloud becomes the default model for software. Therefor it’s likely that vendors such as Adobe will stop producing new desktop versions of many of their products in the near future.
Although there are annual subscription costs from using the Creative Cloud, charities get a significant discount on the Charity Digital Exchange platform, with 60% off the retail price for the first year and 40% off for each ongoing year. Want more information? Check out the Adobe for Nonprofits through Charity Digital Exchange FAQ page.