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KBS has selected partners among the very best hardware and software vendors, showing our commitment to customers, ensuring true potential and optimisation of future IT Systems. Our vendor-agnostic approach combined with our proven consultative methodology enables us to develop and deliver cost-effective solutions that add value to your business.
How to Select Business Software That’s Right for Your Company
Whether your company has outgrown an existing software system or you’re looking for a new solution to streamline business workflows, finding the right option can be challenging. The KBS team put together a few suggestions to guide you through the decision-making process.
Get Your Stakeholders Together.
Build a team that’s representative of the people who have a vested interest in the business software solution. Depending on the size of your organisation, your stakeholders could include:
Employees who will use the software. They’ll need to verify that the program has the functionality and ease-of-use to make their lives a bit happier.
Department or Functional Managers who are accountable for results. They’ll want to know that the tool improves team performance.
IT teams will want to check issues like ease of integration and implementation, as well as technical fit with your existing platforms.
Security teams will need to confirm the software meets your company standards.
Although customers may not sit at the stakeholder table, consider having someone on your team represent their interests, especially if they’ll be interacting with the new software. You’ll need to consider how changes will affect the customer experience.
Assign roles and responsibilities to your team, set a schedule for evaluating the proposed software, and hold each member accountable for contributing to a successful outcome.
Identify Your Software Needs and Set Your Criteria.
Now it’s time to outline the features, functionality, and workflows you need from the business software.
If your team’s goal is to upgrade or replace existing software, this step involves:
Listing likes and dislikes about the current platform
Identifying desirable improvements
Brainstorming what those improvements look like
If your organisation is making a first-time purchase of a new platform, the assessment would consider issues such as:
What your team wants to achieve with the software (or the problems it will solve/improve)
Features or functions you’d like the software to contain
Your decision criteria will reflect your organisational needs, but we’ve found that the top 3 across most companies include:
Price-Value. Price is always a consideration. You’ll need to weigh whether that ‘extra’ feature is worth the incremental cost, or whether you should find another way to deal with the task it addresses. To help assess value, consider the following:
How often will you use the tool or feature?
How well does the software fit your needs?
Will you need that feature long-term?
Is the feature scalable as your company grows?
Accessibility. When you’re investing in business software that, ideally, will be useful for several years, access is an essential element of value. Determine if the platform will need to be widely available or only used by a few people. Decide if you need the software to allow for remote access or if you’re okay with restriction to specific locations or devices.
Collaborative Power. Work with your team to assess whether you need a software solution that facilitates communication between teams, clients, and support groups. Limited collaborative power is a drawback for many companies.
Review Your Software Requirements from Employee, Customer and Management Perspectives.
When evaluating your list through the eyes of your employees, consider the following factors:
The number of people who will use the software. Your decision may differ if you have a team of 10 vs. a group of 1,000.
Your team’s mobility. You might need a more flexible solution if your people are working off-site, travelling, or meeting with customers.
Current platforms. Think about the other business software used in your organisation and whether new programs must communicate with existing platforms.
The amount of IT support you’ll need. Some business software may include vendor support, while other options require internal or on-site resources.
While clients or customers aren’t likely to directly interact with your new business software, their needs will likely influence your decision. Consider the following customer dynamics:
Customer interactions. Customer business models focused on personalized service with account-based attention may point you in a different direction than if you use a similar selling approach for all.
Customer reporting. If you need a customer-specific dashboard or profile, you’ll want business software that delivers a robust user experience.
Growth plans. If you’re on a fast track to building your customer base, you’ll need business software that’s easy to scale up.
Finally, your management’s considerations will reflect corporate needs and personal preferences. Think about the following internal dynamics that will affect your decision:
Speed of Use. Some business software platforms are easy for teams to grasp quickly, while others have a longer learning curve.
Budgets. Having pricing guardrails in place early in the process will help you find a solution that makes fiscal sense.
Format vs. Functionality. Some users may respond better to a visually appealing, intuitive interface, while other departments may want more features and functions.
Time to Demo! After identifying needs, exploring stakeholder viewpoints, and considering multiple perspectives, you’ll have a more definite sense of the must-have and nice-to-have features of the business software you’re evaluating.
It may be tempting to dive right in and make a purchase, but we recommend taking advantage of a software demo.
You’ll get to see functionality from someone who knows the power and purpose of all the business software’s features.
You’ll benefit from asking questions and raising challenges before and after the demo to ensure the solution will work for you.
Here are a few tips for making sure you get value from the demo:
Include your stakeholders
Talk with your team about the features you’re going to evaluate
Outline the essential questions you’ll need to answer to decide about acquiring the solution
Ask for additional documentation such as a company overview, explanation of features or spec sheets, training guides, and other information to help educate your team.
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