Your Guide to Software Selection

Why Current Software Selection is Scary

Software is a significant investment for any business, but the selection process isn’t always easy. As you shop around, you’ll encounter stumbling blocks that could compromise productivity, customer service and the ability to grow your businesses. Knowing what you’re going up against can help you avoid the scarier parts of the selection process.

Common Software Selection Mistakes

Problems with choosing software can begin before the process even gets underway if you make these mistakes:

Not Understanding Your Needs

Software should address the specific problems that your business needs to solve in order to achieve success. If you’re unclear about what those problems are, there’s no way to know which software features will help the most. Going with a program that promises to take care of everything will likely leave you lacking in at least one important area.


Lack of Knowledge

To find software that meets your business needs, you have to understand all of the features and functions of the programs you’re considering. The strengths and weaknesses of a system, the framework of technology that it’s built on and its ability to integrate with existing infrastructure should all be taken into consideration.


Neglecting Scalability

Software that doesn’t change with your business will need to be updated or replaced as the company grows. It’s easy to get distracted by programs with the latest features or be won over by sales pitches that promise dazzling functionality, but even the best program is useless if you have to get rid of it after six months.

Can You Trust Your Vendor?

In the software selection process, wariness is a virtue. Advisers and vendors often have their own motives, whether it’s generating a commission or increasing profits. This leads to bias toward particular products whether or not those products are actually going to help you.

Do Your Research

Look into the type of software that you need before contacting any potential vendors. Find out who has relevant solutions, and seek out peer reviews of those products. Be cautious about anonymous reviews or high numbers of glowing recommendations with similar wording; the authors may be associated with the software company. Narrow down your search further by eliminating potential vendors that lack reliable credentials or certifications.

Ask Questions

Once you have a list of vendors, contact them and ask as many questions as necessary in order to feel satisfied that their product is the right choice for your business. Find out more about the story behind their product, its development process and how they implement it. Ask how long it typically takes to get problems fixed and how often programs are updated to deal with serious glitches.

A Selection Process You Can Rely On

Objectivity is hard to come by in the world of software merchants, but it’s essential if you want to wind up with software that does more than generate another sale for a persistent vendor. To improve your selection process, keep in mind that:

• Input from employees can be valuable but may be influenced by personal preference or past experiences.
• Software that can’t be tested before implementation will likely be more trouble than it’s worth.
• A vendor must have the staff and expertise necessary to support your company’s use of their software.

Your focus when choosing software should always be on what’s best for your business. Take the time to do your homework, get unbiased advice if you can find it and make decisions based on what’s going to help the company the most as it moves forward.

Free Software Selection Template and Tool


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