Posted in Business
Assessing New Software for Your Business
A regular occurrence in every business is the need for new software to be installed. At the best of times this process will slow down enterprise for a period, but if you get it wrong it can have a much more far-reaching effect.
New software programs change and vary largely from the previous versions, so it is important to understand what you are losing and what you are gaining before you commit to anything. This article considers the key areas that you will need to understand before opting for new software upgrades.
Wherever possible, the best way to understand the offerings of a new piece of software is to trial it. This does not mean playing around with it in a store for 15 minutes, it means installing it on a computer and running your business with it for a trial period.
Often it is difficult to arrange this type of trial, but when they are available, you should jump at the offer. The free Windows 8 download, for example, offers you the chance to try out every system which the comprehensive software will include, and you can literally use it as your OS during the trial.
The compatibility test works in many different ways. You need to determine that any new software is compatible with that of customers, content providers, partners, and other programs within your company. Installing the latest version of software is, of course, somewhat useless if it makes everything that you produce incompatible with everyone you deal with in the industry. The compatibility arrangements are very important because any failure to create a properly compatible system will lead your company to lose business from those who are unable to work with your systems.
Before installing new software, it is important to understand the benefits that you will be getting from it. If there is no real change then there is very little point in making the change. If, however, there is a perceivable improvement to be had, then the investment is probably worthwhile. A maintenance management system, for example, could potentially offer your company huge time savings and profits increase. Investments such as this are far more sensible than upgrading to design software which could leave you incompatible with much of the market.
Software upgrades can be incredibly expensive. Whilst it is possible to claim them as business expenses at the end of the tax year, this is not always enough to make them justifiable in terms of cost. Consider the cost of spreading the software across your entire business because there is little point creating an element of business which is incompatible with the rest. This can even include your web development process, because you may need your current systems to grab data from the site, and this could cost you more.
When costing, the expense should be weighed up against the expected initial loss of income. As long as the business is set to come out on top without damaging cash flow too dramatically, then the benefit is likely obvious.