Educational software companies were among the first software developers in the early days of desktop computing. They recognized the potential of using computers for learning purposes, and were quick to develop products that helped make this happen. But because of market changes and fast-changing technology, these educational software companies have to face unique challenges now more than ever.
Problems facing educational software companies
The costs of education are running high, and this its toll on educational software companies. Schools are now hesitant to install additional infrastructures such as networks that are needed to run school-wide educational software.
The peripheral expenses involved in implementing educational software are getting higher, and schools usually can't afford to squeeze them into their already tight budgets. And even when administrators do request for budget realignment or additional funding from the state boards, their requests are denied more often than not. This is because state boards usually have budgets strictly set well ahead of time, and is almost never any room for deviation.
External financing is the obvious solution, but it may take years for schools to find this kind of money, if at all. Meanwhile, educational software companies suffer the losses and scramble to find viable financial means to subsist while schools that have already signed up to buy their educational software systems find ways to raise the funds to pay them.
The future of educational software companies
Companies that develop educational software are on shaky ground. They are very easily disturbed by downturns not only in the software and web industries, but in the educational system as well. The overall sales of both school-wide educational software systems and individual CD ROM-based systems has significantly decreased because of major changes in all these three stimulant industries around the year 2000. This is why many software companies have either closed or downsized.