Software can help to automate tasks and keep information organized. But just what kind of software should your company be using? Below are some tips for finding the right software for your needs.
Look into specialist software made for your industry
There’s a lot of general business software out there suitable for all industries. This includes software for specific tasks (such as accounting or marketing) and all-in-one software options. This software could help to improve the efficiency of your business, however you could find that industry-specific software offers features that are much more relevant to your needs. For instance, when running a childcare company, you could find that a childcare management solution is much better than a generic business management solution which may have lots of features that you don’t need (while lacking other features that you do need).
Consider your company size and budget
Your software needs to be suitable for the size of your company and your budget. Generally, large-scale enterprise software is a lot more expensive than small business software. Most business software providers offer a range of plans for different sized businesses. This gives you flexibility as to which features you need and how much you have to pay (such software is also scalable – you can upgrade your plan if your company grows).
Take advantage of free trials, walk-throughs and demos
To get a better feel for a specific piece of software, it’s worth seeing if you can download a free trial. This could help you to determine whether software is user-friendly and whether it has all the features you need. You can also try watching walk-throughs on Youtube. Some companies will also host free software demos, in which a spokesperson can guide you through all the features in detail.
Decide whether custom software is a worthy investment
On top of considering off-the-shelf software options, it’s worth also considering custom software. This is software that can be designed and built to your specific needs. If you can’t find a software solution out there that does everything you need, custom software could be the answer. Make sure to choose a reputable custom software developer when going down this route. If you work in hardware, then it could be worth exploring the best PLM software for hardware engineers.
Make sure software integrates well
When using multiple business applications, it could be important that software integrates with each other. This can allow you to more easily transfer information between programs. You should also consider what type of devices your software will be running on – the best software solutions can be used on Apple or Microsoft computers, as well as being available as an app for use on tablets and smartphones.
Maximize the use of your existing software
While it can be useful to introduce custom software that integrates perfectly with your business’s needs, it is also helpful to maximize your use of free software applications. Tools that are already available to you, such as Excel, have vast capabilities that can benefit your company. Learning how to use software such as Excel spreadsheets to their full potential can significantly improve the organization of your business and make it easier to manage your datasets.
Know when to update old software
It’s important to replace software once it becomes old. Usually after about 10 years, software will become outdated – it is likely to be slow and have limited features compared to modern equivalents. Once a program loses support from the vendor, you should definitely consider migrating to new software. This is when software stops receiving updates – leaving it potentially exposed to new viruses and un-fixable bugs.