The Complete Guide to Selecting a Software Provider for Your Business
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It’s hard to understate how essential software is for business these days. If you don’t have the latest tools to increase business productivity, you can’t keep up with your competitors and will end up falling behind. That’s why the business software industry has a market value of $411.11 billion.
However, it isn’t always easy to know what to look for in a business software provider when you have so many options.
If you’re selecting a software provider to help with your business tasks, it pays to know how to choose the right one. Follow the guide below to look through your software provider options and pick one that can meet your business needs.
Figure Out What Your Company Needs
Not every business needs every piece of business software out there. Your company has a unique set of needs, so you need to find software specific to the functions you need to streamline and automate in your business.
Look at your current business processes to see if there is any place that software can help. Here are a few typical job roles that can make use of great software:
- Human resources
- Information technology
- Process automation
- File backups
Things may also change depending on the industry you’re in. Take a repair shop, for instance. The chances are good that there’s custom repair shop software unique to that industry that other businesses would find no value in.
Check Into Security
Yes, you are offloading some of your security concerns when you buy software on the internet. After all, an established company should do a lot to secure their software and protect their customer’s data.
However, not all companies will do everything necessary to keep their customers safe. It takes a lot of work to create security procedures and ensure they’re enforced. Some software companies will cut corners to save money and leave their customers and themselves exposed to cybersecurity risks.
That’s why you need to check into the security procedures of a software vendor before buying their products. Ideally, a company will discuss how it secures customer data on its website. If not, try to contact a company representative to go over any security concerns you have.
Find Software Integrations
If your company is like the others using software products, you’ll use a lot of software in your business. It’s hard to find a single product to handle all your needs. You’ll end up signing up for several services to get all the help you need.
The problem comes when you need to share data between applications. The chances are good that you have some data that you can utilize in many departments. If you have no integrations, your team must manually transfer the data themselves.
That’s why software integrations exist. Software companies provide interfaces for other programs to connect to their software. This means you can share data between applications automatically and not do anything yourself.
Look into the apps you use and the data that’s useful to share. See what products offer integrations that allow you to transfer data.
Check Into How Pricing Works
Companies don’t price software uniformly across the software industry. You’ll find companies that price per user, per feature, or a flat rate per month. That’s why you need to look into detail about how a software vendor handles their pricing.
Once you understand how a company prices its software, you can figure out how much it will cost to get everything up and running. You’ll need to look at your expected usage to figure out how much you’ll pay.
Of course, you also need to be aware of how much you’ll need to grow in the future. You may end up paying more than expected in the future if your monthly cost scales with your usage. Once you figure out how much each provider will cost now and in the future, comparing software costs becomes much easier.
Use the Free Trials
You don’t have to guess about the features of a software program or how easy they are to use. Most software providers today do a great job at giving free trials to give you the chance to test the software before you buy.
Make sure you sign up for a trial for any application that looks useful for your company. Use your time to experiment with software features you think are helpful and run test cases for things you know your business needs.
Try to plan out how you’ll use free trials before signing up. Doing this means you won’t waste time figuring out how to utilize your trials.
Look at User Reviews
Reading online reviews is one of the most critical steps to selecting software that you can’t afford to skip. Even if a company appears professional and has a great free trial, you still may not figure out if they provide excellent service to their users. You can sign up, give a company your money, and end up not hearing from them again when you need help.
The great thing about software is that it’s simple for users to post reviews online. Check out the review sites on the internet that cover software products. You’ll see people talking about their experiences with software and the companies that provide everything.
A few bad reviews here and there shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. However, it should give you a reason to give a program a second look before committing to the purchase.
Selecting a Software Provider Isn’t Always Easy
Some software products stand out as the best in the industry, but that isn’t always the case. There is a lot of competition in some markets, so you’ll need to research when buying business software for those tasks. Keep the guide above in mind when selecting a software provider to ensure you find an excellent solution for your company.
Are you interested in learning more about business software and how you can use it to improve your business? Head back to the blog to learn more about using technology products.