How to Choose the Right Software Platform for Your Business

It can be hard to pick the right software solution. You’re surrounded by options, each one trying to shout louder than the other. The terms being thrown at you are confusing. And the plain fact of the matter is you know you need to be socially engaged, but you don’t really understand what that entails. Fear not – read on and the details will become clear!

Know what you want to do

Knowing what you want your business software to do will make it a lot easier to choose the right package for your needs. Bells and whistles are all very well, and can make the difference between one suitable package and another – but if your proposed software solution doesn’t take care of the nuts and bolts of your business requirements, then it isn’t going to cut it where it matters. Take the time to make a list of the functions you know your software system must have, and shortlist only packages that can provide them.

Don’t get blinded by terminology

A software vendor incapable of explaining clearly what his or her solution does is a software vendor who’s just proved that he or she doesn’t really understand his or her product. Acronyms, buzzwords and vague techie phrases have no place in a software pitch. Ask what your proposed vendor means if he or she says something you don’t understand. If he or she can’t tell you, ask yourself why not…

Investigate your ecommerce options

Different kinds of business are suited to different ecommerce options. Having a fully integrated payment system can be useful, because it allows you to keep track of your stock at both ends of the transaction – your website and the in-house database attached to your warehouse. Using third party services like PayPal is helpful for businesses who want the security of a recognisable name and the protection of powerful technology.

Avoid duplication of work

Duplicating work is all too easy in a company with several customer facing departments. Imagine this scenario: a customer calls your complaints department with a problem. The complaints department refers her to another department, which is equipped with the expertise to deal with the problem. The customer, having already stated her problem, becomes angry when she is asked to do so again. Sound familiar? A good business software solution can avoid this kind of duplication by centralising all of your customer connections so you only ever have to make contact once.

Understand when new technology is useful

New technology isn’t always useful – which is why plenty of products and services over the years have arrived in a blaze of publicity and gone out quietly a few months later. The same problem exists in the world of business software solutions. It’s important to understand when technology has a really positive effect on your bottom line and when it just raises the price of the software. Image recognition is an excellent case in point. For HR departments, IR can save thousands of hours of work by scanning CVs and automatically dumping their information into the relevant database fields. Click here for more details.

The Author is an experienced business writer, whose online career began 15 years ago when he started a personal blog giving start-up advice to small businesses. He now runs an international network of business advice pages, and his content frequently appears on trusted sites in countries all over the world.