It’s a tough task for a business of any size–deciding which software to use. You know you need software for managing data, records, and reporting, but how do you know which software for business is best for your company? With so many products on the marketing, it can be overwhelming–especially if you’re not that tech-savvy.
If you need some guidance when purchasing software, it helps to know exactly what you want to use the software for, which can help narrow down the search. There are a few other considerations as well, so keep reading to learn eight key factors to think about before purchasing new software for your company.
1. Budget Is A Top Consideration When Selecting Software For Business
When considering options for software, you need to begin with your company’s budget. Software programs can range into the tens of thousands of dollars, along with monthly usage fees, so you need to work out what you can afford and how much you’re willing to pay in licensing and fees.
The good news is that there is so much competition in the software space that you can almost always find a product within your budget. Many software companies will charge licensing fees for each staff member using the software, so make sure you budget based on the total number of staff who will require access to the product.
Your business may be small now, but what happens when it grows larger in a few years—can your software keep up? – One key factor to think about is scalability and whether or not the software has the functionality and bandwidth to increase in size. You’ll want to find the right software that will benefit your company for the long term, not just temporarily.
Every business is unique and has special needs and requirements, so it helps to find a software company that can customize their product for your business. One size doesn’t fit everyone, so ideally you want to be able to personalize your product, removing features you don’t need and adding those that you do.
For example, if you’re in the market for PIM software, you want to find a product that allows you to capture all the important marketing and purchasing data for your products.
4. Learning Curve For Your Staff
How long will it take staff to learn the new software? How many training sessions will be needed? – Learning a new software system can be tricky, especially if the product is complex and intricate. You’ll want to give thought to how long it will take your staff to be comfortable using the product.
If it’s a long learning curve, keep in mind that your staff will need a lot of training and support, which can be both expensive and can cut into their productivity for a few weeks or months.
Security is another big consideration, with so many common cyber threats out there to hack into businesses. Online cyber attacks, on average, cost companies $200,000 to recover from, which could bankrupt many businesses.
This is why you’ll need to look for software that offers the best possible security, ensuring the data from both your customers and staff stay safe. Secure software is a major way to keep your business safe, so don’t take any risks.
6. Customer Support
Customer support services are important when purchasing any product, including new software. You and your staff are sure to have plenty of questions when learning the new product, and you’re likely to need ongoing tech support as well.
Customer support is also needed to help with recovering business data, an essential service in case anything important is lost or accidentally deleted.
Make sure the software company offers customer support, and also make sure it’s open within the hours of your business. If the software is based overseas, for example, varying time zones could mean you’re online at different times.
It helps when software companies offer 24-hour support or have local support teams based in your country.
7. Reporting Features
One key function of software is reporting—you want to be able to use your software to easily run reports, analyze data, and look for areas of improvement.
Before purchasing, make sure the software’s reporting functions are in alignment with what your company needs. If not, it will be tough to run reports and you won’t be getting the full benefit of the software—great software should save you time, not make things more complicated!
8. Ongoing Maintenance Requirements
One last thing to think about is ongoing maintenance. Software isn’t static, a product you purchase once, and then you’re done.
It requires ongoing maintenance and fees, with new versions being released from time to time. Which staff member within your company will be in charge of staying on top of this?
Often, it’s the responsibility of the IT department, but be sure to assign this to someone. Using outdated versions of software can put your company’s security at risk, so make sure you understand all of the ongoing maintenance requirements before purchasing new software.
Find The Ideal Software For Your Business
As you can see, there is much to think about when purchasing software for business needs. When researching potential products, use the tips above to ensure you find just what you need.
It’s worth taking the time to find the right product, as software is essential to helping your business manage data, increase sales, and save your staff time. Get started today and you’re sure to find the perfect software for all of your business needs.
Was this article useful? If so, please check out some of our additional content to read more.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.