Your business is like your home -- you don’t really notice the important systems that support it until they stop working. Bathrooms are an easy thing to take for granted, but when they stop working, your whole life grinds to a halt. Like the plumbing or the HVAC in your house, the software systems that support your company are your lifeline. And when it’s time to replace an important software system, it’s just as important to do your research.
When you’re shopping for a new software system for your company, it can be overwhelming to make a decision if you know you don’t like your current system, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for. Putting in a little bit of work researching information systems upfront is worth it in the long run to make sure you find “The One” for your business. And we are speaking from experience. We recently made a significant software change, so we are right there with you. We put together a list of factors that helped us make our decision, but if you have any questions about our switch, we’d love to walk you through it!
Here are some things you can do to aid you in your search:
You probably already have in your head the things you need your software to do, but some items are deal-breakers, and some are probably just icing on the cake. It’s important to list out the features you “Have to Have” from your software system versus the features that would just be “Nice to Have.” This can be a crucial distinction when you are comparing two seemingly similar software options. The best way to go about this is to think of your past struggles. Make a list of the features that annoy you about the software you currently have, so you can avoid those features in your new software.
If the software system has your ideal feature set, great! But don’t commit just yet. There are a few more items you should check on to ensure this software system will protect your data and support your current needs. If the software you’re researching is hosted or “cloud” software, make sure you ask how often your company data will be backed up, and where it will be backed up. This is essential for any business and system! Ask if the software provider has redundant data centers so that there is no loss should access to one data center become unavailable. (These two things should be part of any good software provider’s disaster data recovery plan.) You don’t want to trust your customers’ sensitive data with a software system that will lose it!
Further, ask about your service provider’s security practices and what protections they have in place for your company data. Why go to all the trouble to encourage cybersecurity in your office if your software system isn’t similarly protected?
Certain feature sets may work well with your business now, but what about in the future? Keep in mind that your software systems will need to grow as your company grows! Ask your potential system providers if upgrades are included in your price. It may seem like it fits your budget now, but you want a software system that will grow as you grow. Check out your potential software service provider’s customer support options to make sure they can keep pace with the needs of your business. Finally, remember that it’s your data! Make sure you can easily get your data out of the software system in case things don’t work out. You will need to be able to recover and transfer data to new systems in a way that makes sense for your company.
It can be hard to keep all these things in mind, but good preparation can make all the difference. If you need more support in changing important software systems at your company, contact Sawyer Solutions at 844-448-7767 or fill out this form on our contact page!