However, businesses shouldn’t just jump on the first software product they come across. Finding new software is a major decision, and should be considered carefully. The five things to consider
Deciding on software may seem like a simple choice, but it can ultimately have a significant impact on the future of your company. Align your business with the right software and the sky is the limit. Partner with the wrong software and you could damage your reputation and deplete revenues.
With that being said, carefully consider the following before you sign any software licensing agreement. 1. Pricing structure
There are a variety of different pricing structures
and it’s important that you understand each of them when considering your options. Some of the most common include the “freemium” model where you start with a free version and then pay for advanced features, the tiered pricing structure in which the cost depends on the number of users, the feature pricing model in which you pay based on which features you want, and simple cost-based models that have a single price across the board. 2. Know what you want
“Know what you want first,” software consultant Steven A. Lowe says
. “If you know what you want, ideally separated into a must-have list and a nice-to-have list, it will be much easier to figure out if any given solution fits your business – and to resist ‘shiny’ things.” Based on your needs and wants, you can then read through case studies, speak with current users, and look for the vendors that best align with your direction. 3. Escrow agreement
Is the software vendor willing to enter into an escrow agreement with you? Software escrow agreements are becoming very popular and serve the interests of both the licensor and the licensee. From your perspective, the agreement ensures that you don’t lose access to the software source code should something happen to the vendor. Consider the different types
of software escrow agreements and inquire about them when doing your due diligence. 4. Scalability
The ability for software to scale as your needs and demands fluctuate is extremely important. In fact, in 2016, there’s no reason to even consider software that isn’t scalable. The last thing you want to do is be in the same place six months or five years down the road after you’ve doubled in size. The system you’re using today should also be able to handle your needs, regardless of the level of demand. 5. Compatibility
Most large companies use three, four, five, or even six-plus different software solutions. If you’re running multiple solutions in your business, then you need to ensure there’s compatibility between them. The biggest problem with fragmented software is that small issues can slow down your processes and ultimately become more of a nuisance than a help. Make sure this doesn’t happen by verifying compatibility and only selecting software that’s able to communicate with your other tools. This will prove to be enormously helpful in the long run. Don’t make a rash decision
There are many business decisions that can and should be made quickly. Selecting software is not one of them. The software industry is diverse and there are typically dozens of major vendors for each type of solution. Rushing through the vetting process and selecting the first one you try is a dangerous mistake.
Take your time and make sure you consider the most important elements.