Investing in new software solutions is crucial in order to grow your business and maximize its potential. Business software that allows you to operate in a way that fits your company, that reduces risk, and ensures customer satisfaction will lead you a step closer to success. Whether it is an HR platform, finance software, or a new CRM system, navigating through a plethora of options can be incredibly difficult.
You will know that it is time to consider other options if you feel your company would be more efficient with new software. A good place to start is by assessing your current setup. Be open-minded and give an opportunity to different solutions, even if you’re used to the software you’re using at the moment. Whatever boosts your business performance is always worth trying.
Who Needs to Make the Decision?
Anyone who is impacted by the new software needs to be involved in the decision-making process. In addition, even some external people need to be there for consultation, just to create a clearer image. Of course, not all of them will be involved in the evaluation process from start to finish, but it is very important to consider all thoughts on the potential.
The number one on your list should always be the employees, anyone who will use the software on a daily basis. It is advisable to collect at least some feedback on the current software and what the employees see in new software as an improvement.
Managers are also important, but they usually tend to use them slightly differently. Oversight of their team’s activities, analysis, and reporting capabilities are all crucial parts of the software for managers, so make sure you ask them for an opinion.
IT partners, as an external part of the company, can be quite helpful. For example, the cyber security partner should be on the top of your priorities when it comes to changing the software you use. You need to make sure that their service can work properly with what you plan on using. Technical considerations should always be on your mind.
In most cases, you won’t be directly asking your customers what they think about the news you want to implement. However, it is very important to keep them updated with any business decision you make and consider the impact the new way of working can have on them.
Do the Research Best Software
Take as long as you need to research all the available options thoroughly. Avoid making time pressure judgments and do this well in advance. Seek the information on what other companies use in your field of work and what are their views on different. Check reviews and try to understand how the software works before you make any sort of investment.
If you comprehensively evaluate all the alternatives, you will be sure that you’re not making a wrong decision. Additionally, if you can justify your decision against other options, you won’t have anything to worry about. The more you research the topic, the greater the confidence in your decision-making will be. Therefore, this will decrease the chances of having to switch again in the future.
Review, Prioritize, and Set a Budget
As mentioned above, you need to take a look at your existing and workload before you choose the right software for the future. If you need everything to be clearly documented and streamlined, the right software will make your employees way more productive. On the other hand, you might find out weaknesses in the way you operate during your review.
You need to be completely sure of what your company needs. Make a list of requirements for any new software after establishing the pros and cons of your current one. Categorize everything based on priority, and start from there. For example, you can have ‘nice-to-haves’, ‘must-haves’, and ‘conditionals’ lists included. Refer to the lists during the decision-making.
At this stage, it is also recommended to set a budget. It needs to cover the price of the software itself, upgrade costs, training, support, and implementation. Without a set budget, you will just be wandering with no goal.
Get the Advice
It is always advisable to seek expert advice when choosing the right software for your business. The best way to do this is to simply speak with the software provider, as they will explain everything in detail. Your IT support partner can also be of value at this stage since these companies usually have experience in using a variety of software.
Additionally, you can speak to your competitors or anyone who has experience with the users in your industry. These people know what the business needs in order to grow, and they usually have a decent understanding of what needs to be prioritized.
Your IT partner will usually be well-informed on the current setup your business use. Therefore, they will be able to give you clear instructions on how any new software will work once you fit it in the context. Once your tools are integrated, you will be able to boost efficiency and help streamline processes, but you need your IT provider to ensure it is possible.
Test the Capabilities of New Software
Bear in mind that most technology experts will advise not to choose the cheapest software simply due to its price. This could damage your functionality and productivity in the long term, so saving some money is usually not a way to go.
Once you have a list of potential options, it is recommended to test their capabilities by using their demo or trial versions. You can choose among ten different options, but keep in mind that you don’t want to waste a ton of time on trialing process.
These tests will give you a much better idea of how much certain software can provide to your business and how they compare to each other. You should have your top pick once you have the results of free trials and demos.