How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business

In this day and age, there is software for everything. The only software that doesn’t exist, is a software to choose software. *Our legal team will be in touch if you steal this idea.

When running a business, you will be pressured into improving efficiencies and creating automated processes, which software can often provide. However, just as a good software selection can assist your business, poorly chosen software can have negative effects which will waste time and money. Here are a few key pointers we suggest addressing before you make your next software decision.

1. Plan for the Best Usage, Expect the Worst

Don’t be sold nirvana. You will rarely find a business that utilises a software to its maximum potential, and if they do, they’ll still have a laundry list of things they want to fix.

When looking at a new technology for your business, consider what would happen if you only achieved the lowest level of implementation. Will the software provide any value at this stage?

Prime example, the fabled CRM.

If you only use the CRM as a digital contact book, would it still be worthwhile?

This isn’t a tip to reject any software that doesn’t overcome this threshold, rather it’s an early indication on the effort and dedication required to make the chosen software have a positive impact on your business.

2. Take the Time to Quantify Expected Improvements

Many people would have come across an administrative ‘weapon’ throughout their career. Someone who completes standardised tasks, so quickly, so efficiently, you cannot help but watch in awe.

Now imagine you are replacing their tools and processes with a new software that still requires manual input.

Has the time to complete their work been reduced?

Have the reports generated from their work been automated?

What are the immediate benefits of this new software?

Once you dig deep and estimate immediate, as well as future impacts of a software, you might be shocked to find there aren’t any positive ones in the short term. Highlighting this is crucial, not only for planning and implementation, but also change management in your team. Promising a new software that improves workflow and efficiencies, only to deliver a clunky, equally manual software is a bitter pill to swallow and can stunt staff adoption. Extra tip: If your administrative tasks are truly standardised, consider a tool such as UiPath which can perform the same tasks as your administrative ‘weapon’.

3. Pricing Comparisons

Software pricing norms have evolved over time. Fixed terms and unlimited users have made way for flexible engagements that charge by the ‘seat’. Seats can be deceptive.

Our key tip here is short and simple, forecast more seats than you need when comparing prices.

There will almost always be ad hoc requests from senior leadership, new starters, or unaccounted staff to have a seat. So, instead of watching payments balloon, account for additional seats before any engagement and ensure it is still within your price range.

4. Plan for Larger Teams

When deciding on new software, you can often fall into the trap of only finding a software fit for your current team. Avoid this and make sure the software can scale to any size.

Ensuring the chosen technology has collaboration capabilities, access hierarchies and clear audit trails will help your business increase the number of users and teams without costly restructuring required later.

5. Assign Responsibility

Our final and arguably most crucial point is focused on ownership, responsibility, and accountability. When a decision is made to select a software and implement it within your business, you need someone to take ownership for this decision. Notice we say individual and not a team. As the modern-day herald of business Elon Musk discovered, when a business decision is made, individuals must be held to account for the decision, future roadmaps, and the related business activity. If left to a team, responsibility can be handballed, final decisions are often left ambiguous, and points of contact are left scattered.

Choosing the right software for your business can have extraordinary results and having experienced and implemented a range of back-office software to suit many needs, Visory’s team of experts is able to advise software solutions suitable for your business. Minimising the risk of choosing the wrong software, we guide you through selection, implementation, and continual improvements to make your business run seamlessly with as little effort as possible.