The average American spends more than 10 hours per day in front of a screen, and a massive number of these hours will be spent at the workplace. Computers are an essential part of any business, and their software powers everything we do. However, not all software is created equal, and neither are all business software providers. So if you’re buying software for business, what are the most important considerations?
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how you can ensure you make the right software choice and get value for money. Are you ready to learn more and make better software choices? Then read on!
1. Think About Your Budget
The most important thing to think about, when buying software, is your budget. Business software can be free and open-source software and it can cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you can only afford $1000 for business software, this is going to cut down your choices.
This means that you should take your budget into account before you even start browsing software. Think about how much you could afford without eating into your finances, and you’ll have a smaller set of options to choose from, which will make the whole process easier.
2. What Are Your Needs?
Your needs will determine what software you have, you should never let the opposite happen. This means eschewing features that you don’t need and looking for software that has what you need and as few extras as possible, because, in general, extras cost money.
If you’re in a specialized field, you should also be looking at specialized software rather than general software. For instance, if you’re a therapist, you should look for the best therapy billing software, rather than general billing software, as you may need certain anonymizing features or encryption.
3. Will the Software Be Able to Scale Up and Down With You?
When you’re perusing your options for software, you want to make a choice that will last for a long time. You don’t want to browse business software every year or two. Moving to new software is a major disruption that you should strive to avoid if at all possible.
This means that you should look for software that can scale up as your company grows and shrink as your company contracts. This will also affect your budget considerations: can you afford the licenses that you’d need if your company were to grow?
4. Does the Software Offer Strong Security?
Regular software updates are a must for any reputable business software provider. This doesn’t mean that they need to be adding new features all the time, but they do need to be patching security holes as and when they’re discovered.
The average data breach costs a huge $3.86 million, and malware infections cause a lot of these data breaches. Malware infections and other cyberattacks need a way to get into your computer, and a security hole in your software is one such way in.
If the software provider doesn’t update their software regularly, they’re putting your security at risk. Buy from a provider that takes your security seriously.
5. Is the Software Easy to Use?
You want your staff to be as productive as they possibly can. If the new software requires a week or two of training to use, that’s a ton of lost productivity.
You want software that you can train your staff to use over the course of hours or a couple of days to keep the lost productivity down. When you demo the software, consider how easy it is to use and how easy it would be for a new hire to use.
6. Does the Provider Offer Good Customer Service?
When you’re buying software, you need to know that you can contact the provider at any time and be offered support. Any time that you don’t know what to do and you can’t get hold of the customer service team is lost productivity. Once again, keeping that to a minimum is paramount.
The provider should have several different ways for you to get in touch, including live chat and over the telephone. If they don’t, it’s worth looking around for a company that prioritizes customer service.
7. Can You Customize It?
Every business has its own unique specific needs. If the software provider only offers one specific setup for the software, they’re not a great provider. Your software needs to be customizable, and you need to be able to tweak how it’s set up so that you can get everything you need to do done.
8. Is It Subscription Based?
Some software providers offer subscriptions for business software, which can be very helpful. When you know how much a subscription costs, you can budget for it and know that you aren’t going to be hit with any unexpected costs.
However, sometimes a subscription will include other software or features that you don’t need, so it can actually increase the cost of the software. Make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for before you make your purchase.
Buying Software for Business: Get Value for Your Money
When you’re buying software for business you need to get the best value possible. If you follow the tips that we’ve given you, you will be able to make better purchasing decisions and get more bang for your buck.
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