5 Dos and Don’ts To Consider Before Purchasing Software For Your Business

August 22, 2015

10:00 am

As a business owner, one of the many important responsibilities you have is to purchase the right software for your company. Opting for the right solution is essential for smooth operations and further growth yet may seem like a daunting task when attempted for the first time. Here are 5 key dos and don’ts to help you find the best product for your company.

1. Don’t rush into designing custom software.

It sounds like a great idea to have software designed and working exactly the way you want, especially if you have an affordable team in tow. However, for small to medium businesses can go great with off-the-shelf products. Before hiring developers, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you sure the final product would be as secure as a time-tested solution from the market?
  • Are there any other areas of your business that need improvements and investment? Product quality, marketing etc?
  • Are you sure you have analyzed all available software solutions and found none catering your needs?

2. Do invest in software that increases the financial value of your company

One of the key questions any business owner should ask is: “How will the business run without me?” Your business systems and organization influence directly your company’s financial value. Reliable, effective software, just like key employees, is an investment in your future. Effective processes automatization and well-chosen software can help you focus on growing your customer base, improving product quality and drive your company’s profitability upward, rather than struggling to manage and handle efficiently day-to-day operations.

3. Don’t be frugal when it comes to choosing an appropriate operating system and framework

Less than a decade ago servers and workstation costs were close to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s no longer the case today, yet some companies still opt for an inferior setup to save a couple thousand dollars. However, to keep your business operations stable and ready to expansion, saving is not the best strategy.

Always opt for Professional Windows edition for your employees and choose suitable software packages, rather than those costing less. In fact, you can always find software coupon codes or ask for a bulk business discount from the developer directly if the costs are crucial to you. Keep the server and workstation one version behind and both in sync with the same version to sustain a more stable environment. Make sure all stations have sufficient memory and CPU by doubling the recommended number and never using over 70% of the disk memory.

These solutions may seem costly at the beginning, yet in the long run, they will drastically cut down maintenance costs and the amount of frustration.

4. Do adopt a step-by-step approach when purchasing software

A step-by-step software package build reduces the financial burden and the stress put on your employees while adopting new bulky solution. In fact, many software companies now offer partial payment terms for the acquisition of new software.

5. Do become an expert in any software you choose

Do not fully rely on outside consultants to service and manage your software. The bad news is – you may not get timely assistance in the most needed cases. Before committing a purchase, take time to test and understand the full functionality, it’s limitations and benefits. Choose tools that are sophisticated enough to allow heavy customization, yet user-friendly enough to manage them yourself.

Image Credit: Flickr/Jisc infoNet

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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