Bigger companies with the resources and human capital knowledge have the ability to make more informed choices and purchase/create a business software that suits their needs with maximum benefit and less bugs. SMEs however do not usually have the luxury of amble resources (knowledge and capital wise) to create a software from scratch or know which software suits them best, which is why I have created some simple tips to follow on how to select business software for those who may need it.
1. Is the business software from a specialised company?
This is an important issue. If you purchase software from a company that has been in the industry for years, with other clients in the same industry and is specialised in your field, they are more likely to understand your needs and have the functions you require.
2. Qualitative and quantitative support
The more support staff available to serve you, and the more knowledgeable and helpful they are, the better it is for your business and the learning process. When purchasing software from other countries, please note customer service hours to confirm whether the hours are suited to support the business in your country. Don’t forget to inquire charges and terms of future support, if any.
3. Find a business software that suits you the best
Software can vary with functions, structure, and workflow, find one that suits you the best. If this is not your forte, get some help from someone who understands your industry, business, and software to advise accordingly. A little bit of knowledge can take you a long way in future proofing your operations and selecting the software that suits your company the best.
4. If purchasing a ready made business software, try not to manually adjust, change, or personalise
Ready made software is made to work with optimum workflow and is designed to work the way it was created. To tamper with the programming may disrupt the design and workflow, and may have a knock on effect in terms of programming and cause unnecessary issues. Furthermore, if updates are provided, there may be issues with application of future updates due to customisations.
5. Business software has to be localised with rules, regulations, functions, and reports as per local laws and regulations
Please take this into account especially when purchasing software from a foreign company. If and when local laws and regulations change, make sure you know whose responsibility it is to inform the other of the change, and if there will be separate charges for the update, or if it will be included in the service charge, or if the update will only be free for a certain period after purchase.
6. Is the business software regularly updated?
Bugs are in every software, this is a fact of life. Will future updates include bugs fixes as and when detected? Will future updates include new functions? Will future updates include changes in laws and regulations? What are the charges and terms of future updates, if any?
7. Make sure you understand hardware needs and software requirements
There are lots of software out there. For medium sized enterprises, owning their own server and setting up a NAS (network attached storage) to conduct their backups might be the most viable option. But very small enterprises might prefer SAAS (service as a software) where they access their software through the internet and the software company is responsible for backup and hosting of the software. Every business has different resources and restrictions so please make sure you understand the complete picture and conduct proper research before making a choice. When in doubt, ask a professional. Their fees will pay itself off once you get a setup that provides “bang for the buck” and suits your specific needs.
I hope you guys found this useful. If you have any questions feel free to get in-touch, and if I have missed anything important please mention it in the comments section below.