Tuesday, 23 October 2012

5 Ways to Assess if a Business Software Solution is Right for You

When it is time for your business to select a new software solution, you will need to take enough time to assess all of your available options. Many companies opt to work with a third-party in order to ensure that an objective analysis is performed, but even if your company decides to make the decision internally, you should still utilize a similar approach. There are many important points to consider, ranging from functionality to the price, but certain components are more important than others. In order to ensure that you select the right option, you should always consider the following five important points. 

  1.) Stability A proven track record of stability is much more important than obtaining the latest trendy software package. After all, your business and your employees will be negatively impacted each time the software goes down or experiences glitches. It is always better to select software that is slightly older but more reliable than to become attached to the idea of staying on the so-called cutting edge.

  2.) Addresses a Specific Need Each company has different operational needs, and it is important to keep your specific needs in mind when you are assessing your software options. If you are going to take the time and money to switch to a new software solution, it should address a specific need that is not being met by your current software.

  3.) Integration Options Many industries will do the majority of their business within one piece of software, but there may still be the need to work with other providers as well. For example, if you work in Property Management, you might utilize the MRI software to track all of your resident data and budgetary items, but you will still need to run credit checks through a third-party company such as CoreLogic SafeRent. The ideal software solution would offer integration with any necessary third-party applications. In the Property Management example, this means that the right software would allow you to run credit checks from CoreLogic SafeRent within the Property Management software.

  4.) User-Friendly There is some truth to the idea that anyone can eventually learn how to use new software, but it is not a good idea to intentionally purchase a software package that is cumbersome for its intended users. If you are faced with the choice between a slightly more robust software solution that has a very clunky interface and a sparser option that is extremely easy to use, then the second option is almost always going to be the better choice. Keep in mind that your employees will be much more prone to making mistakes if they are unable to easily use the software.

  5.) Accessibility If you or several key members of your team travel on a regular basis, it will be very important for the software to offer mobile accessibility. Many software developers have switched to an Internet-based solution, and this is ideal for anyone who must be able to access the software from multiple places. On the other hand, if you will only need to use the software when you are at the office, you might prefer a non-Internet based solution simply because your day-to-day operations will not be impacted during Internet outages.

   Making a Decision If there are two software options that meet all of your criteria and are similarly priced, you should consider the longevity and reputation of each software developer. Although new developers can absolutely deliver solid products that will keep them in business for years to come, it is safer to go with a company that has already been successfully operational for several years.

  About the Author: Bradley Barks is an online researcher and published tech blog author - he's currently working on an article that helps business owners select the right, flexible software for their ever-changing needs.
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Meet the Author

Gautham A S

Gautham A S is a personal tech columnist and blogging expert at TechGau.Org, one of the leading Tech, How-To and Blogging Tips blogs in the world..