With the advancement of technology, the market has become flooded with software, apps, and tools all geared to help our business run better. These programs can provide added efficiency, accuracy, productivity and more. Unfortunately, with so many choices, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your company. Here are four things to consider when making your next software application purchase:
Function – Considering how the program works may seem like a no-brainer but this is an important step that usually gets glossed over. Instead, when reviewing a potential program, be sure to dig deep. Know beforehand what you NEED it to do and what you WANT it to do. In other words, what features are non-negotiable. If you find yourself saying “well, we could probably make that work” or something like that, keep moving. There are lots of choices out there that will do exactly what you want it to do.
User Experience – You may be the one in the company with the purchasing power or just the one responsible for researching options. If you’re not someone who will be the primary user of a program then you need to get some help in the purchasing process. Make sure you have input from the end users to know if this is going to work for them. A program is only as good as its users and if you buy something that “sounds good” but really isn’t functional to the actual people who need to use it then you’ll only end up with more frustration and less money.
Aesthetics – It may sound silly to think that you need to pay attention to how “pretty” a program is but it’s been proven that people are more likely (by quite a lot!) to use a program that looks nice and is visually appealing. If it looks bare and like it belongs back in MS-DOS, keep looking. Your team will probably never use it! Just don’t sacrifice function over beauty!
Price – Most of the time, prices can vary widely. Generally speaking, the more bells and whistles you have, the higher the price will go. Make sure you look at pricing details like:
how many users
how much storage
compatibility with other programs you already have
These are all important factors to include when evaluating the program at a pricing level.
The bottom line is that you must do your due diligence when selecting a program. Schedule a time to go over your questions with a sales rep. Get a demo of the program first. Take it for a test drive before committing to it fully. You don’t want to rush into something and spend a lot of time, money and energy setting up a program that ultimately isn’t the right fit for your needs. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t seem to find the perfect program. Sometimes, it the best decision is to have a custom software solution developed. In the short run, it might cost more but in the long run it could help your company run much better and pay for itself in no time!