How to Choose Software for your Business?
Table of Content
Every growing company needs new software from time to time so they can continue the progress. It’s very important to stay updated and replace the software that is old but that isn’t always easy to manage. There are a few steps you can follow if you don’t know where to start.
The processes of finding what you need will depend on what similar businesses are using and what is the best among these programs. Multiple people should be involved in choosing the best option unless you are a small firm with a few employees. You will need to know where to look and figure out what works the best. For more information, click here.
Check Your Stakeholders
Before making your own decision, you will need to check what your stakeholders want or what will increase their efficiency. Every employee or team member has a certain role that can influence your decision-making. This will vary on how big your company is and what employees’ needs are.
For example, you will have a primary team that represents people that will use the software. You should check if they are satisfied with the tool and what features it has. You or your managers would want to know if it will bring results and increase performance. So, each segment of the firm can be affected.
If you are among the best in your region, you would want to check how safe it is so talk to your security team or agency. In the end, if it affects your customers, consider how it will impact your sales or their behavior. In many cases, this program will connect your workers with the customers so great experience should be the number one goal.
One option is to record every process your team does in any management tool like Asana or Trello. This will help you define their needs that will improve their work. When employees are not informed about the changes you will make, they won’t be prepared for it which will slow you down.
The next step is to figure out what you want from the new program, workflow, functionality, features, and more. There is a big difference when you are experienced in this section and when you are buying for the first time. When you have experience, you will know what needs to be upgraded and what’s expected.
Making a list will help a lot and it should include what you like and dislike about the current software. Write down what you want to improve and the best method to improve it. When you don’t have experience and, for example, you want to automate some processes, you won’t have an idea how the software will look or function.
This is why evaluation is very important when choosing software for your business. It’s like compiling all the comments on Google Apps and figuring out what works the best. After evaluation, you will have a valuable piece of information that will help you make a choice. It significantly decreases search time and pinpoints your needs.
Where to Find It?
Because there are many types of software, the vendor will also differ depending on it. Some of them are well-known but don’t have everything that can be found so you might look for alternatives. For example, Google is the first one people use and it can be the best place to start.
But, you can check comparison sites that provide an overview of the functionality and features of these programs. A great thing about them is that you can see what the users think about them. This shouldn’t be your only way to make a decision so always visit their website to check it personally.
Try to reach out on LinkedIn and see what your competitors are using or just ask for advice. The more you search this way, the better choice you will make, and sometimes this can be a huge difference, especially for startups. They might not always be right so record every solution that stands out.
Demo and Trial
Once you know what you are looking for and where to look, the last step is to contact the ones you like the most. In most cases, you will have at least 10 good options that you might use. Each demo you can try is very beneficial even if many people avoid them.
The majority will just dive in and get the end product but the ones that get the most value are those that try the demo. They will know it from the inside out and can adapt to the end product very fast. Always prepare questions in advance because you will most likely come upon something you don’t understand.
You will be able to cut down the list after reviewing the demo to at least 5 vendors. Besides the demo, you will have a trial option and those are the ones to try out. One of the things you shouldn’t do is to try out a few at once because you might get confused about the features each one has.
Because you are testing it out, make a workflow you would follow for every program or app and set a certain standard. Every employee that will use it should try out the free trial and what you want to get out of it. Always make sure they are honest when providing feedback after finishing a task. It can happen that they say it’s fine just to avoid being negative.
Selecting the Provider
Start asking questions to check how they would solve problems you might have. This will help you see how their support team works and what you can expect from them in the future. This is also a very important aspect because their delays reflect on yours.
All of the steps mentioned should be placed on one paper or presentation that you will provide to your CEO or management team. With the information collected, there is no room for mistakes. The only problem that can occur is to find a couple that is very similar and you can’t decide but both are great.
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