Is Source Code Escrow Worth the Cost?

Starting and developing a new business, as well as managing and expanding a well established one, is never easy. Now more than ever, businesses of all shapes and sizes are faced with countless risks that transform their work environment in ways that could make or break them with a single drop in the market.

In cases when a business depends on a particular piece of software to bring in profits or daily operations depend on it, it’s only a matter of time when something might and eventually will go wrong. From software vendors discontinuing support to going out of business, these worst case scenarios are quite real. Keeping in mind all the risks and potential expenses an issue like this may cause, should both businesses and software developers insist on protecting themselves with source code escrow or try their luck without it?


Source code escrow – what it’s for

Countless apps and software platforms are being created and used for business every day. Business-to-business cloud-based software is a sheer necessity in business today. People and economies worldwide depend on their performance day in and day out. But what happens when a software developer simply stops developing or maintaining a certain software, for any reason?

The people and businesses, as well as their clients, are at risk of losing their money or even their jobs. And with cloud-based computing on the rise, whether we like it or not, this is where source code escrow comes in, protecting the interests of both software developers or vendors as well as their clients. The protection is also provided for the software developer since the licensee gets the source code and other important information only if certain negative event takes place. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.


That sounds expensive

As unprecedented ransomware attacks have proven recently, a worry-free and connected life is impossible. Businesses today tend to create products and services that are perfect solutions to many modern problems, but like most things in life, not having to risk future financial stability in business comes at a price.

When it comes to businesses securing their future well being with source code escrow, the prices are usually at a couple of thousand dollars a year. These fees can be increased in case of specific terms, including custom contracts and lawyers taking part. The more customized the situation, the higher the cost, obviously. And trust and security also cost a pretty penny, as most of us have learned the hard way.

Very few source code escrow providers are publicly clear and transparent about their pricing and details of their service, so it sometimes takes a little more research or reaching out to a sales rep to understand exactly how much your company would be paying and for what, although some do offer a general idea of this online. While there aren’t too many lower end companies in the source code escrow field yet, but with cloud-based services becoming the standard, these types of security and insurance services with adequately adjusted pricing are expected to be more available.


Is it worth it?

To put it in plain terms, if a business is planning to grow and develop, then it’s worth it. Those software development companies worried about source code escrow increasing the prices of their products and services can simply consider the potential loss of business that lack of this kind of insurance might cost them. Potential clients want assurance that their critical software applications will work no matter what.

With all the fuss of malware and ransomware, spyware and identity theft, software being prone to malicious intrusion, natural disasters and other sometimes unimaginable but entirely possible events, sooner rather than later people will realise that spending money on ensuring that their business runs smoothly even if the worst case scenario happens is a true life saver. Or rather a business saver. Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes.