Finding the right software for your needs requires knowing who can offer it. Here is the complete guide to choosing software partners for businesses.
It’s hard to understate how essential software is in business these days. Companies can’t afford to waste time doing things manually now that software makes things so much easier. Software use is so widespread that businesses now use an average of 137 SaaS applications.
However, some software stands above others. If you want to maximize productivity, you have to find the right business software for your needs.
Choosing software partners isn’t something you should take lightly. Follow the advice in the guide below to find partners who will give your business the service it deserves.
Learn the Major Players
In the past, it wasn’t uncommon to see several different versions of the same software. Creating software projects is easy, so many businesses started and completed for market share.
However, things are a little different today. It’s true that you can still see many smaller players in the market. But at this point, many large companies have taken over the big market segments.
Make sure you learn who these companies are when looking at your software options. You want a company that will stick around and provide regular software updates for your purchase. These vendors also likely have many more features since they have been around for so long and have had time to build comprehensive software.
List Your Requirements
The next part of picking a software product is determining what you need software for. This means listing all the requirements you have that will help your team do their best job.
Start by picking a software category. There are a few primary ones to consider:
- Project management
- Information technology
- Customer service
Once you have a main category, look at specific programs that do what you need. Look at all the features offered and which ones will meet your needs. It also pays to look at features you didn’t consider before and decide if they can help your business.
Depending on your industry, you also have specialized software options. Unique software like field service management software will offer unique features customized for your line of business.
Check for Integrations
Once you find a few applications that can meet your needs, the next step is to see how well they fit with your current technology stack. One of the great things about software programs is the availability of data. And if you pick the right programs, you can connect them to share data and become more efficient.
Software applications do this with integrations. A software company will build features to connect to other software to sync data and extend functionality. This can save a lot of time and cut the work your employees must do to sync information between software.
List your current and future software applications to see what you have. From there, look at the integrations offered by your software options to see which ones can integrate with what you currently use.
Learn the Pricing Options
A lot of software is in the cloud these days. Instead of offering downloadable programs to install on local machines, you sign up for accounts and operate online.
This has changed the pricing model for many applications. Instead of paying a one-time fee for different program versions, you now pay monthly or yearly for applications.
This makes comparing software costs trickier. Some companies charge smaller amounts for fewer features and upcharge for more. Others will offer every feature in their programs but charge more money.
Calculate how much money you’ll pay for each option and find the best value for your business.
Check the Support Options
Having reliable support is critical for business software. When you rely on an app to handle business operations, you need someone to call when things don’t work right.
Unfortunately, not every company handles support correctly. Those companies are slow to respond and take forever to fix critical issues. The last thing you want is to work with one of those companies.
Check the support options available before you sign up for a program. Make sure there is a response guarantee and the option to get immediate help if you need it.
Use Free Trials
One of the best ways to determine if a program can meet your needs is to try it before you buy. Luckily, software companies make this easy.
Many software vendors offer free trials for their programs. Since it isn’t expensive to set up accounts for potential customers, software vendors allow people to sign up and try the software for a limited time.
Use your free trial to learn everything about a program. See how well it meets your needs and if it helps your employees get more done.
Although you can learn a lot about software by trying it and speaking to company reps, you won’t learn everything. There are times when you won’t see how bad a company operates until you pay for the product and see firsthand how bad the service is.
Reading online reviews is a great way to figure this out. There are many places online to look at reviews for software.
Use those reviews to learn the pros and cons of a program and if there are red flags that make the program not buying.
Be Careful When Choosing Software Partners
You’re placing a lot of trust in the software vendors you use. You’re handing them sensitive business data, relying on them to stay online, and counting on their functionality to work correctly. The wrong software choice and make or break your business in certain situations.
That’s why choosing software partners isn’t a decision to take lightly. Do your due diligence with your options for software partners to find the ones that can meet your company’s needs.
Are you interested in learning more about what technology can offer your business? Read more posts on the blog to learn the details.