Software products have started to make up a lot of a company’s IT budget. You can’t afford to go without the latest tools if you want to keep up in business. That’s why 29% of the IT budget now goes to software products.
If you want to find software that works for your business, you’ll need to do your due diligence when looking at options for software providers. Use the guide below when selecting software providers to ensure you find applications that meet all your company’s needs.
Learn What Your Company Needs
The first step to picking software products for your business is to figure out what your company needs. There are products for every role imaginable, but it may not make sense in some cases to use software products.
Talk to the people who work for you to figure out where they struggle during the day. Your team may have tasks that software makes easier. In some cases, you can automate those tasks to free up a lot of time to handle other work.
You should end up with a list of tasks that software products can handle. Don’t just stick with one department, either. Go through this process with every department in your organization to get an idea of all the business software features your business needs.
You also have the option to purchase software unique to your industry. Take exercise physiology software, for instance. This product is unique to this industry, so it offers many more options than generic software products.
Look for Software Integrations
Integrations mean a lot in today’s world. Your software doesn’t work in a vacuum anymore. You can likely use the data you generate in one program in other business applications.
The problem is syncing that data between applications. Not every application will work nicely with your other software programs.
That makes integrations a critical factor in your software choice. Check your software candidates with your other options to see if you can sync the data between applications. You may also be able to combine functionality between programs to handle more advanced workflows.
Consider Your Pricing Options
Some software products out there only cost a few dollars per month. On the other hand, others can cost thousands per year. That means you need to have a budget in mind before you start searching for software products.
You’ll find a few pricing models to consider when comparing software costs. Some companies stick strictly to a monthly charge. You may have extra fees for additional users, but you won’t pay anything more for all the software features.
Other companies charge per feature and user. This can add up to many additional costs if you aren’t careful. Consider these things when looking at your software pricing to find a company that offers the best value for what it charges.
Understand Your Security Requirements
Security is a must when dealing with computer software. Working online carries more risk than ever. If you don’t do enough to secure your online activities, you’ll put your business at risk of getting compromised by hackers.
Unfortunately, some software providers don’t do enough regular software updates to keep their software secure. If you have sensitive data, you can’t afford for that to happen.
On top of that, some industries have stricter requirements for data security. You can’t work with any company you want in this situation. You need to ensure your software vendors do enough to comply with government security laws.
Consider On-Premise vs. Cloud Software
You have two main types of software to consider during your search. Traditionally, businesses purchased desktop and server software to install things themselves. That’s called on-premise software.
You have more options these days with cloud software. Instead of hosting software and databases, you rely on cloud websites to handle all your needs. That means you don’t need to set up as much infrastructure to run your company.
If data security is a concern, on-premise software makes more sense since you can control security yourself. If you have remote employees, cloud software helps because people can access it from anywhere. Each software type has pros and cons, so research each to determine what makes the most sense for your company.
Take Advantage of Free Trials
You don’t have to take a chance on most business software. It’s not hard for most software providers can easily create new accounts to give people the opportunity to try the software. That means you can sign up for a trial and test products before you commit to buying.
Take advantage of every free trial you can for software that looks appealing. In most cases, you can get a free trial that lasts for a week. That’s plenty of time to test software to see what it can do.
Before you start your trial, create a list of things you want to test with software products. You don’t want to waste time when signing up and not try everything you need. Create a list and stick to it to ensure you test every feature that you need for your business.
Do the Work When Selecting Software Providers
You have many software options out there, so it’s tempting to pick the first option you find to make things easier. However, going this route means you risk purchasing software that doesn’t meet your company’s needs.
You need to do your due diligence when selecting software providers. Keep the guide above in mind while searching for software options to help you manage and grow your business.
Check out the blog for more business tips that will help you make other important decisions.