Buying new business software? Why comparison won’t bring you joy.
Choosing new software for your business is not something to be entered into lightly. What’s true of marriage is also true of the software selection: decide in haste, regret at your leisure.
Here at InfoTech, we often deal with the fallout of major IT investments gone wrong. Accidently spending tens of thousands on a software system that doesn’t work for your business costs all sorts of money and time. There’s the roll-back, there’s the retraining and then there’s the initial outlay all over again.
And yet, sadly, this is a common scenario that plays out across many industries.
So what’s the problem? Many companies understandably go about the selection process by comparing software packages side by side. They compare the various features of each package before deciding on a winner.
In theory this makes perfect sense, but it’s wrong-headed in a business context because you’re failing to take into account what your business needs.
It’s like going to Bunnings and comparing a hammer to a drill to an allen key, and then choosing the coolest tool (clearly the drill) WITHOUT considering the job in question. Which may just be to hang some pictures on the wall. A simple comparison test does not narrow down the best fit for you.
Rather than comparing software packages against each other, your best bet is to compare them against your own individual requirements. See how they stack up then. It’s about benefits rather than features.
Selecting new enterprise software is a slow, deliberate process, but when you make the right decision your business will be so much better for it.
The right software upgrade can help you make more money with less effort! It can save you bucketloads of time! It can eliminate tedious work for your staff!
Some helpful questions to ask yourself would be:
How will this software…
- Maximise ROI?
- Decrease costs?
- Reduce manual labour?
- Eliminate double-handling?
- Improve accuracy?
- Stop cyber threats?
Then here’s how the selection process should play out:
- Identify your needs
Take some time to discover what your business needs from a software system. Think about what may be lacking in your current system and how you’d like a new system to address that shortfall.
- Get independent advice
Ignore anyone with a vested interest. You need someone who is not aligned with any particular product. I doubt they will point out its weaknesses.
- Consult your IT provider
Someone with IT expertise who also knows your business is the best person to evaluate what will work for you. Unfortunately, the IT team are often consulted only after the decision has been made – only to find out the decision-maker has not done a true feature analysis before choosing to move.
- Submit your requirements to vendors
Let the mountain come to Mohammed! Put the word out to multiple vendors about what you are looking for and the specific needs you have. This will give you an idea of what will suit you best.
**One more important thing: every new software system has an adjustment period. At first, staff may be resistant and complain about the change. Don’t think this means you’ve made the wrong decision. It may just take some getting used to. Give it a month or two to take.**
Need independent advice regarding software? Contact us on (07) 3390 8833.