Software has become integral to the modern day business, but it can be expensive. If you want to make the most out of your investment, then, it is important to know exactly what you are getting – and what you want. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the rules of engagement when it comes to buying business software.
Biggest isn’t always better
One of the biggest problems with buying software for your business is that you only use a small portion of it. There are lots of packages out there that do everything – but do you actually need it all? These complicated programs can often be unwieldy. If it’s difficult for your staff to use, it will affect their productivity – which isn’t the point of software! There could be features that go unused, that you have paid good money for – is it worth the money? Often, you are far better off approaching a software company to design custom software for you that caters all your needs – and nothing else.
A question of growth
All businesses want to grow, so it’s important to find software that can scale up as you do. It’s a total waste of money to invest in software that can only take you to a certain stage. For example, let’s assume you are a startup and have paid for a database program that houses all your customer data. You have a good year, and find that you have run out of room. Not only do you have to spend time looking for another option, but you have to wait for data transfers and pay for the new product. And, possibly, pay a contract termination fee on the old product. You would be far better off looking into a custom Library Management Systems (LMS), for example, that can grow with you. It’s cost-effective, and will eat up less of your time.
Support and help
Software is, by its nature, temperamental. Even if you have a background in technology, there will be times when you have problems and glitches with your system. So, before you invest in any new program, make sure there is suitable support for you. When things go wrong, you need to know there will be someone on the other side of the phone to help. Also, technology moves so quickly that last year’s new product is next year’s forgotten relic. Without the right software support, your business runs the risk of being affected.
Always read the small print
A lot of software you can buy on the market comes with reams and reams of small print. It is essential that you read through all of it to make sure you don’t encounter later on down the line. You are signing a contract, so, as with all other contracts, understanding the terms and conditions is something you need to do. Sure, it’s not the most pleasurable way of spending an afternoon. But if it stops any problems with your service provider in the future, it’s worth it.
What do you look for in your business software? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll get straight back to you!