In the digital age, the software you choose to run your business operations can make or break your company. That’s why it’s important that you know how to select the right software that will meet your business needs.
As you can see, there are different kinds of software applications available in the market. In order for you to choose the best one, you have to treat your software options like employee applicants. By doing that, you will be able to assess if your company can benefit from the new software and if it can be integrated with your existing workflow.
To help you prepare a game plan on how to deal with the software selection process, here is a list of best practices that you can look into:
Perform Initial Planning
Most frustrations caused by the software acquisition process is rooted in the disorganised gathering of requirements. Hence, it’s ideal that you perform initial planning before you choose your company software.
Here are a few tips on how you can do this effectively:
Determine Your Project Scope
During the initial planning, it’s crucial that you determine the functionalities necessary in order to achieve your business goals. This enables you to simplify the process of identifying the tool requirements and the software platforms your business’ needs.
Assess Possible Risks
After defining your project scope, it’s important that you assess the potential risks of the actions you’re planning to take. By doing this, you will be able to analyze the pros and cons of the new technologies you want to acquire. Furthermore, this also allows you to look into issues like insurance, compliance, and many more.
Get Everyone on Board
If you want to make sure that everyone is on board with your plans, it’s recommended by experts that you talk to stakeholders about the software you want to acquire. Through this, you will be able to discuss your technology procurement plans and lessen the chances of misunderstanding in the future. Furthermore, this also allows you to talk about the possible return on investment (ROI) when you purchase the new software your company is eyeing for.
Once you’re done establishing your initial plans, the next thing you should do is to research them extensively. Through this, you will be able to get to know the software better and verify whether it’s suitable for your company or not.
Here are a few tips you can follow below to accomplish this:
Read Guides and Updated Market Reports
One way that you can research about the software you’re planning to acquire is by reading buyer’s guides and updated market reports. Through the insight you get from these materials, you will be able to know and understand what the software you’re looking into can do for your company.
Identify Who Leads the Market
If you want to get the software that will suit your business best, it’s a good practice that you check software leaderboards and analyst reports first. The software that leads the market is often the most effective one. Hence, you will be able to get the peace of mind that the software you want to acquire have good review scores and community ratings when you do this.
Prepare Before You Gather Software Requirements
When it comes to the software selection process, the most tedious part is the development of requirement specifications. Although this is true, the gap analyses you can do to these requirements enable you to gain the wisdom on which software will work best for your organisation. Hence, it is essential to collect your requirements carefully.
To aid you in this process, here are some tips that you should consider:
Consult IT Experts About Your Plans to Add New Software
Before you gather your requirements to add new software in your company, it’s encouraged that you discuss it first with experts from managed IT services in Australia. By doing this, you will be able to get a heads up if there are any potential challenges and costs along the way when you integrate this technology. Once you know more about the new software’s impact on your company, you will be able to get the peace of mind that the acquisition of the product will work well for you.
Make an Inventory of Your Existing Technologies
Apart from consulting IT experts, it’s also a good practice to make an inventory of your existing technologies before you gather your software requirements. By doing this, you will be able to see what you may need to connect in the future installation and ensure a seamless IT infrastructure.
Create A Software Documentation
Once you’re done gathering the requirements, it’s recommended by professionals that you create a documentation about the software. Other than enabling you to keep track of the pros and cons of the software, it also allows you to determine whether the software is working for your company or not.
To aid you in this matter, here are some things you should look into while you’re documenting:
Identify The Problems That the Software Can Solve
Evidently, companies make use of software in order to solve the problems that stop business operations from improving. If you want to make the most of your company’s software applications, then it’s best that you take note of the solutions that your software provides. With this knowledge, you will be able to make well-informed decisions as you make changes in your company.
Keep Track of the Reasons Why You’re Changing Your Software
Every software has its own strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify them, you will be able to maximise them accordingly. That’s why if you decide to replace your old software, it’s vital that you keep track of the reasons that pushed you to do that. By learning from your past software experiences, you will be able to create wise decisions when the need to select a new one comes.
Communicate with Stakeholders
While the process of software selection is ongoing, one thing that you should remember is the importance of keeping everyone in the loop. As you can see, many successful business owners emphasise the significance of surveys and meetings in companies. With its help, company decisions become a team decision. Furthermore, it also enables businesses to keep an audit trail for every step they take in their career journey.
Here are a few tips you can follow in communicating with your stakeholders:
Ask for Feedback Regarding the Software
Feedback is a powerful tool that can determine a company’s continuity. When you use it to evaluate whether the software is right for your company or not, you will be able to gain the insight you need to make well-informed decisions. In fact, it’s a great way to avoid common barriers that prevent most businesses from maximising the software.
Consult an Expert Before You Create Decisions
Aside from asking your colleagues’ feedback, it’s also helpful to consult experts before you make a decision. With their expertise, you’ll be able to get the guidance you need to identify whether the implementation of the new software is good for your company or not.
Sometimes, decision making becomes more difficult when you have too many choices. That’s why it’s recommended by experts that you shorten your list of software options before you make a decision.
Here are some suggestions that you can try to achieve this:
Narrow Down Your Options
After you create a list of your software options, narrow it down by identifying the ones that are aligned to your business needs. When you have fewer options, it will become easier for you to decide which one will work best for your company. Hence, it is a great move to take when you’re in the software selection process.
Read Software Reviews of Your Shortlisted Software
Once you’re done shortlisting your software options, it’s ideal that you research about the products and read its customer reviews. Through this, you’ll be able to rank your choices based on its capabilities and identify the best of the best.
Closing The Deal
Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time for you to pick one and close the deal. If you’re still confused about whether you’re making the right decision or not, here are some things that you can do to help you decide:
Assess The Software’s Pricing
Ideally, business owners should aim for high returns in every step they take on their career journey. For this reason, it’s fundamental that you assess the software’s pricing and potential ROI. By doing this, you will be able to get an idea of whether it’s a good investment or not. Aside from that, it’s also recommended by experts that you make a strategy on how you can negotiate your contract details with your vendor. Through this, you’ll be able to influence vendors to provide services that you can use to your advantage.
Examine Who Benefits from The Software
Evidently, the software can only be a good investment when the majority benefits from it. If you want to ensure that your organisation will make the most of your software acquisition, then it’s recommended that you list down the people who can benefit from it. By doing this, you’ll be able to make the decision-making process easier and faster.
Choosing the right software for your company is not an easy task. But you’ll be able to make the process simpler by following the best practices mentioned above and by seeking the assistance of managed IT services in Melbourne like House of IT. Contact House of IT now for successful software implementation and adoption.