How to Choose the Right Software for your Business
The software choices you make have a crucial impact on the success of your business model. Every business needs to evolve to meet changing customer expectations and stay relevant. And your software should be able to support this evolution, not hinder it. The wrong software choices can stall or even reverse your business’s progress. It is essential to have resources that will help future-proof your business as well as improve efficiency in the present. Fortunately, the software market is vast and complex, offering you unlimited tools and solutions to aid your business. But which one should you adopt for your business? Are you trying to invest in new software but feeling overwhelmed by your options? Here’s a simple guide from our development team at Perth on how to choose the right software for your business.
What types of software does your business need?
Knowing the different types of software your business needs, will make decision-making a much easier process. In general, there are mainly five fundamental categories of software that a commercial venture can make use of. They are:
- Marketing software that helps you create adaptive marketing and advertising strategies
- Software for lead generation and sales which help you identify potential customers
- Software that tracks productivity to assist you in improving the performance of your products as well as employees
- Accounting and finance-related software to track financial variables of your company
- Analytics software that helps you observe and analyse the performance of your business
At times, you may need software products belonging to each of the categories mentioned above or software that covers them all. It depends on your business needs.
What are the factors to consider when choosing a software product?
Once you know what kind of software you need, it’s time to understand what factors you should consider when reviewing the available options.
- Functionality: When there are multiple products available that perform similar functions, go for the product with the best core features instead of one that offers a wide range of extra functions that you may never use.
- Scalability: Your business is constantly changing and growing, and your software should be able to keep up with that. So, always choose products that have flexibility and can be customised.
- Integrability: If you use multiple products that need to work together for the best results, integrability should be a priority when searching for software products.
- Security: Customer information and other sensitive data need to be protected at all costs. Ensure the software you choose for your business have security layers that protect your data from cyberattacks and other digital vulnerabilities.
- Learnability: Even the most perfect software will prove to be a liability if it’s hard to understand and use. If your software products are not intuitive, you’ll lose time and productivity due to platform misuse.
- Support: Always remember to invest in assets that have reliable customer support as well as developer support. Otherwise, you might end up with short-lived software products.
- Cost: Last but not least, price. The cost of a good application should match its quality. If you feel assured that the investment is worth it, then don’t hesitate for a higher price.
Steps to choosing the right software for your business
The process of selecting the software for your business can be divided into six stages.
Step 1: Define your business goals
As mentioned above, there are many types of software tools available in the market. To choose the right option, you have to know what you’ll use the software for. And to do that, you should have clearly defined business goals and issues you aim to resolve. While the final decision would mainly rest with the IT department, it is a good idea to involve all the departments who would be using the software. You don’t want to end up with something that works great for one person, and affects the productivity of another.
Step 2: Review your current condition and set the budget
Compare your goals with the assets you already own. Check if the existing software help in streamlining your business. Once you have a clear idea of the weaknesses and strengths of your current software, create a list of the new requirements. Then, assign a fixed budget that covers the costs of purchase, installation, training and maintenance.
Step 3: Browse and research
Do your own research and evaluate the options in depth. Speak with professionals and your peers to learn about their experiences and thoughts. Go through the reviews on the official website and understand how well the applications perform.
Step 4: Do a trial run
Once you have compiled a list of potential software, contact the companies and ask them for a free trial. Learn firsthand the features and the functionality of each option. Clarify your doubts with the vendor. Try out the customer service of the companies.
Step 5: Discuss with your team
The ones who will understand the requirements the best will be your internal team. Check with your employees to understand the limitations and benefits of the software options you have. Observe the time required to complete each process during the trial run. Check if there are any productivity barriers while using the potential tools.
Step 6: Train your team
Your work isn’t over once you make the decision. Now, it’s time to train employees on how to use the software best. Conduct training sessions and make use of the in-app learning sessions that the vendors gave you. Make sure every employee receives a user guide that will help them adapt to the changes quickly.
Choosing the right software is an essential aspect of any business. Only by arming yourself with the right software tools and adapting the best solutions will you be able to ensure smooth commercial progress. The six steps we mentioned above will help you choose the right software for your business. Do you need an experienced eye to look over your IT architecture? Contact us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer customisable and secure solutions for all your digital needs.
Bonus read – Bespoke vs Off the shelf software
Integrability: The integrability of software is its ability to integrate with other systems to work seamlessly together.
Scalability: Scalability is the ability of software to increase or decrease its capacity, performance and cost based on the users’ demands.