You may be planning to replace your existing software and even ready to swipe your card as soon as you find a ‘better’ one.
Great! But, is buying a new software so effortless and uncomplicated?
If you have plenty of time and money to keep experimenting with your software, then you may just randomly pick any.
But I’m sure, for 99% of my readers, this is not the case.
You will choose your software with utmost contemplation and consideration ─ and this is the best thing to be done.
This actually reminds me of when my team and I were planning to buy our business software. It took us ages to pick the best one and still the resultant product was terrible. But, as everyone learns from their mistakes, even we did. We, at last, made a list of requisites in our software and then checked which one fulfilled them most.
I must say, this ‘check-before-you-buy’ list actually works.
So, here I share my “list of software essentials” with you. Let’s get started and find the right thing for your office PCs and laptops.
1) Is it a standalone or integration friendly?
Think of this: You onboard a new time tracking software, though it’s inflexible with your existing payroll software. The result, your employee data is widespread, difficult to be managed, and requires more efforts than ever – definitely something you didn’t pay for.
In reality, a software is meant to ease down and smoothen your business processes. Some cloud software are friendly enough to integrate with your existing products, while some are notorious and unwilling to work in unity. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to go for the latter.
Therefore, instead of making a wrong purchase, research well on how flexible and integrable your software is.
2) How good is your software’s mobile compatibility?
Think of this: Your business data is accessible to you irrespective of your time and location. You and your employees are able to optimise their work on the phone ─ be it managing sales leads, monitoring customer calls, or performing HR operations ─ at anytime, from anywhere. Convenient right.
Here, a mobile app is the cherry on the cake. It empowers your teams to work while they go places and are not stuck to their office desks all day long.
This will ensure you a constant tab on the on-going work and will facilitate flexible working for your teams.
So make sure you pick a software which is not limited to just your desktop but is compatible with everybody’s (means you and your team) mobile devices in the form of an app.
3) How secure is your cloud software?
Think of this: You input/upload all your employee data (eg. employee data, finances, etc.) in your time tracking software and later found out about a data breach. This incident is no less than a nightmare.
Snap. This won’t be as bad if you wake up at the right time.
All you need to do is, determine the layers of security (trusted ones) which protect your application, hence your data.
Why is it important? A recent survey stated, nearly 25% of respondents listed ‘data security’ when asked about their biggest concerns about dealing with cloud software.
Thus, the security of data should be a significant factor prior to buying your software.
4) Is your software employee-friendly?
Think of this: Your new software, say HR software, came with a complex UI. It requires additional complex training to be conducted for your employees to help them learn and get accustomed to its usage. Another responsibility, isn’t it?
We know our marketing, sales, or tech professionals, all have a different knowledge base. So bring in software which doesn’t require specific technical expertise for its usage, and can be easily operated by everyone.
Before making your purchase, decipher the extent of convenience and inconvenience it will bring to your employees’ working.
Instead of easing their work, don’t end up bringing something that rather hinders their productivity and workflow.
5) If struggling, will your dealer help you?
Think of this: Your software is demanding irregular updates and bug fixes every now and then. And, the dealer requests you 2 more weeks to resolve them. Would you risk putting your business operations on hold all this while?
Let’s face it, dealing with software is no laymen work and requires help on its usage every now and then.
Therefore, make enough enquiry on how the concerned person can be reached and what time will it usually take for their responsive action.
Before putting your money on your chosen software, make sure you’ve got your dealer’s back 24*7.
5.5) How costly and ‘worthy’ the software is?
I am sure you must be wondering – why is pricing last on this list? Why half the weightage? Money matters the most right?
Think of this: When confused between 2 or more business software, you pick the cheapest one. What if:
- it’s not integration friendly
- it ain’t mobile compatible
- it’s not employee-friendly
- your dealer isn’t supportive
There’re reasons why price should least influence your decision.
What I’ve understood by now is, not necessarily a high-priced software will always feed your business needs. Though, it doesn’t imply that a low-priced software should be bought-without-a-thought.
Simplicity might have a higher price, whereas complication may cost you less.
Final Upshot: Choosing the right cloud service provider requires more than just visiting the cloud vendors’ website or believing the reviews. Be sure you factor in all these criteria (and more) before you swipe your card for your business software.
(This article was originally published on Yourstory)