It is a common occurrence that businesses implement a software only to find later down the track that it does not meet their needs.
Their users may dislike the software because it makes their responsibilities harder to carry out or does not support their needs. The software provider may charge high costs whenever the business wishes to customise an aspect of the software. There are many reasons why a software may not be working for a business.
It is important to make sure that you take steps throughout the software choosing process to help you make the best decision for your business. You need to truly understand what it is that you are needing the software to help you achieve and then investigate the available solutions in line with your needs. Below we have outlined a step by step approach that we believe will assist you in choosing the right software for your business.
- Identify Problems
If you are currently using a software that is not working for your business, first identify the key problems with the software and the business needs that it is not providing for. Having a clear understanding of the issues with your current solution will allow you to ensure that you choose a new software that does cater to the needs of your business and staff.
- Define Requirements
Before looking into any software solutions, you should have clearly outlined the requirements of the software. Ask yourself things like:
What features do you need the software to include?
How many user accounts will you require and how do they need to be structured?
How easy does the software need to be for your users?
What other software that you are currently using in your business do you need the new software to integrate with?
How will the software need to adapt to meet future needs?
How much can you afford to spend on the software?
- Establish Team
You should consider establishing a software project team who will be collectively responsible for making the final decision. Having a member of the management team involved is an excellent idea, along with members of your team who will be using the software and those responsible for managing and administering the processes.
- Shortlist Software
To Demo Research potential software solutions online that may meet your business needs. Speak to current users of any potential softwares to see how the solution is working for them in their business. Another good source for researching software is to read reviews on the solutions.
You can also reference the software’s social media content to better understand the quality and functionality of the solution.
- Make A Decision
Once you have created a shortlist and seen demo’s of your shortlisted solutions, you need to make a decision. Compare the software you have shortlisted to decide which one is going to best meet the problems you have identified and the requirements you have defined.
Look at things like which software is the most user friendly for your team and will integrate with other software being used within the business. Consider the pricing of each software solution in line with your business’ budget. Be aware that often software will have features that are included and features that require an upgrade.
You should understand exactly what is included in the price of the software and what is not, as well as the anticipated costs to make any required changes to the software.
Successful implementation of your chosen software into your business is just as important as choosing the software itself. A poor implementation of the software can mean that things don’t run smoothly and lots of issues pop up.
You should discuss the implementation in detail with your software vendor to understand their approach and what a good implementation of their software will look like. Make sure that the software you have chosen offers a good level of support throughout the implementation process and after.
The above steps are a general guide to the software selection process. Every business is different and some businesses will have more complex needs and requirements than others.
At QSM Group, our consultants are highly experienced in providing expert advice and assistance in OH&S, Quality Management and Environmental Management, Integrated QHSE Management Systems, QHSE Auditing, Implementation and Maintenance, Information Security Management Systems, Risk Management, Business Process Improvement, Business Health Checks.
Contact us today to see how we can help your business with its software selection, implementation and maintenance needs.