The business owner’s guide to buying new software
Like it or not, there’s a software application dedicated to every aspect of your life. There’s one that helps you find a good spot for lunch, countless that help you catch up with friends, and some that remind you when to stop using other apps.
All of them are supposed to make life easier and more fun, but do you really need a hundred of them on your phone or PC? In business, installing more than a dozen apps is sure to confuse and distract employees from getting things done. That’s why we’re here to help you find the right apps, and only the ones you need.
What do you need?
Before you go on a buying frenzy, it’s important to understand the ways in which apps can help your company. You’re not doing your job if you’re not aware of the day-to-day problems your workers put up with.
For instance, if your sales department is having trouble closing deals, you may need customer relationship management software. But if your staff is struggling to stay productive with old spreadsheets and word processors, you might need something more sophisticated like Office 365 or G Suite.
And you definitely need to bring everyone into discussion to make sure you get a robust app that grunts, middle managers, and executives will find useful.
Does it have the right features?
Once you’ve created a list of potential software apps, the next step is to narrow it down based on features, which largely depends on your users’ needs. Let’s say you’re in the market for collaboration software. Are you willing to pay extra for “nice to have” features like shared calendars, robust project tracking, and HD video conferencing? If so, any app that contains these features goes to the top of your list.
However, some features are non-negotiable. A user-friendly, idiot-proof interface, for example, is a must if you actually want productive workers.
The apps you finally choose should also be able to integrate with your existing software to improve workflows and keep company data organized.
Can you run it?
It can be quite heartbreaking to purchase new software and realize your computers and mobile devices can’t run it. That’s why you should always check the system requirements and make sure your devices have enough RAM, storage space, processing power, and the right operating system.
If your computers aren’t fast enough, you can always get a cloud software subscription, which allows you to run the app from just about any device, regardless of specs, as long as you have a reliable internet connection.
Is it easy to use?
The only way you’re going to find out whether an app is good is to try it out yourself. The last thing you want is to be stuck with an app that requires an actual rocket scientist to use it.
Most software vendors offer limited free-trial versions of their products to give you time to play around with the features, so be sure to take advantage of those opportunities.
If possible, enroll some of your employees in various applications' free trials and ask them for their honest opinions. And if their reviews are favorable, there’s just one more thing you have to consider.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the app is important to most businesses, but don’t think it’s as easy as comparing price tags. Upfront costs are not the only thing you have to pay for. There are expenses associated with implementations, customizations, and maintenance, and those can vary depending on the provider, your IT staff’s expertise, and your patience.
If you hire a run-of-the-mill IT company to install and manage the software, you may end up paying more than you initially thought. But an experienced managed services provider like Red Key Solutions can help you save money.
Still having trouble choosing software? We can help with that, too! Just call us today to learn about our top-notch IT consulting services in New York.