Choosing Software For Business

Choosing Software For Business

One of the most common questions I get from businesses, and people is what software to Choosing Software for their own needs, or their group.

The first thing you must do is eliminate bias if you are going to get an accurate idea of what you need. If you start off from the get go
that you are going to use a certain software package then you won’t ever get an educated decision on what to choose since you are operating
on personal bias to begin with. If you are choosing software for your own personal use then of course you can choose whatever is popular,
but if you have to make a choice for a group, or a company you need to be open minded about what the options really are to be fair to them, and yourself.
You might actually be missing something great that has been developed since your last research was done.

So what are the steps we need to think about?

What is the goals you want to accomplish with your software?

Business PoliciesReport GenerationSoftware ScalabilityHosted SolutionsLicensing IssuesReporting OptionsTab titleDon't OverbuyLaws/Regulations
What are your business policies, and can the software work to function according to your policies.
After all if your policy says no employee can have more than a $30 purchase per day, and no more than $90 worth of purchases in a week then can the software you are considering do that?
Are you going to allow overrides, and if so can the software handle that s well?
Do you have the ability to customize reports?
All software that has a database has a report feature, it isn’t exclusive to any one software program.
If data is going in, there will always be a report to show what it was.
What is the size of the group that you are servicing? What is your projected growth in a certain term?
If you are choosing to use a hosted solution then what is their uptime? What is the Service Level Agreement they are going to make to you in order to keep your group going at all times.

If it is a hosted solution then what are the server specifications? How is the connectivity to their servers from  your location? Do you have multiple redundant connections in case of failure? After all if you can’t connect to them you can’t use the software at all. Are you able to host it on your own servers?

If you do choose a package that runs on the local PC then what is the per seat copy price if it is licensed that way? Just because you own the right to use software doesn’t mean you can use it on any PC, they might say you have to have a per PC license, or a site license that covers a particular site. License policies, and charges have been known to change at companies leaving the consumer out in the cold. CubeCart did this to their customers.
Can the software send alerts due to certain conditions being met? If so how can it send them, SMTP, SMS, or via push notifications using an app on your phone?
Are you going to be able to import your old information into the new system? If you come to a decision that you are going to move to another system in the future due to a pricing dispute, or their failure to deliver as promised then can your data be exported to move to a new system? If so then what formats does it support? Companies have found themselves using a software platform that went up more in price than they were willing to pay, or didn’t like the change in the software that the developers made only to be faced with the nightmare of figuring out how to move the old data to a new platform. It isn’t something that many people think about.
What works for one organization might not be appropriate for another. For instance you don’t need the same servers, or PC’s to run a family garage with a thousand customers as you would someone like IBM, or Ford Motor Company. You might very well be overpaying for software that is way more than you needed, just because another group is using it doesn’t make it best for your group. The hardware/software needs to handle a group with 30,000-300,000 clients are going to be vastly different than those of a group with only 3,000, or less people in it.
If you are dealing with a hospital, or a government body there are different rules that apply, and laws that you must go by when dealing with computers, and software. A hospital is going to have to be HIPAA compliant while a flower shop won’t have those worries to consider. I got a call from a person doing home health care who confessed to being hacked, she hadn’t been following any security guidelines for privacy to be HIPAA compliant. You can’t run a business like you run your own personal PC. There are federal laws, and state laws sometimes that you have to abide by in regards to customer information, and support. Some industries have to maintain records of communications. Is the software you are thinking about compliant with the applicable regulations/laws?

 

 

 

You might very well after all is said and done end up choosing the package that is used by fortune 500 companies, and that is the most popular software on the block. The important thing is that you chose it based on how you have decided what your policies are going to be, and carefully evaluating all the available software, and their features.