In today’s connected business environment, it’s vital for you to have the right software for your business. The appropriate software can provide many benefits for your organization, with reduced overhead, improved processes and increased revenue being among them. The wrong software can cause big problems, which can include a lack of adoption by your staff, lost profits, and time and money that are wasted trying to make software that’s less than perfect work seamlessly (or at all).
Even worse, the wrong or outdated software may have bugs that can temporarily bring your operation to a screeching halt. Worse still, the wrong or outdated software may be vulnerable to viruses and errors that may disrupt your system for days at a time.
If you’re going to hire a contractor or firm to design software for your business, you need to consider a few things beforehand. If you don’t, you run the risk of throwing money away on the wrong solution upfront and suffering the consequences of having an inappropriate solution in the short- and long-term.
Identify Your Needs
One of the biggest factors you should consider is why you need new software. How can you realistically expect to pick the best software for your organization if you don’t know the specific needs you want it to fill?
The key here isn’t just to identify your current needs. You need to think about what your company’s needs will be at least several years down the line. You don’t want to invest in software your business will outgrow quickly, a solution that isn’t versatile enough to adapt to changing conditions, or software that isn’t scalable, after all.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself that may help you nail down your organization’s needs:
- Are you hoping to save money by having new software designed?
- What functions do you need the software to perform?
- What are the ancillary capabilities that you want your software to have?
- Do you need certain features to have a higher level of functionality?
It wasn’t that long ago that Target and Home Depot made headlines for data breaches that compromised the financial information of a seemingly countless number of consumers. Since then, other big brands and entertainment providers have been hacked as well. The lesson you can learn from instances like these is that it’s imperative for your software to be secure.
Unfortunately, making sure your software is secure isn’t enough. You need to make sure the company that designs your software has a solid reputation for security as well.
Here are some questions you may want to ask about a software design firm’s credentials as well as the security of the software the company produces:
- Is your company SOC certified?
- What kind of security options will the software you design for my business include?
- Will my software encrypt stored data? If so, at what level will my data be encrypted?
- With SSL and AES-128 no longer being enough, what kind of encryption techniques will you use?
Scrutinize the Vendor
In addition to looking at a vendor’s reputation for security, there are other factors you should consider when you’re choosing a software design company. You need to ensure that the company has the experience to design software for your industry, for example. If the firm does, you should ask whether designing software for your industry is the company’s core business.
You should also consider how long a given firm has been in business. While a design firm doesn’t necessarily have to have a decades-long history, the company should have leaders who have made a mark on the software design industry in some way.
A vendor’s long-term goals are an important consideration, too. Some software design firms intend to be around for years or decades while others plan to be bought out by a larger outfit over time. If a design firm is positioning itself to be acquired by a larger company, it may impair the firm’s ability to support your software after it’s bought out.
Ease of Use
While you may be able to adopt new technology quickly, it doesn’t mean everyone on your payroll can. You need to make sure the software you get will be easy enough for your employees to use. Keep in mind that the more features your software has, the steeper the learning curve will be for your staff.
To get an idea of how difficult software will be to use, ask your vendor for a demo or a trial period in which you can test software that’s similar to what you want. If the design firm has made software for another business that’s close to what you’re looking for, read any reviews of the software that are available to see if the solution is easy to use.
The support a vendor is willing and able to provide for your software is a significant consideration when you’re thinking about having software designed for your business, especially if the software will be the backbone of your operation. Be sure you pick a software design firm that will be able to resolve issues as quickly as possible. Make sure the vendor has the bandwidth to provide support during your hours of operation, too.
While cost is a critical consideration for many businesses, it shouldn’t be your biggest concern if you want to get a high-quality, user-friendly software solution your company will be able to rely on for years. With that being said, you can control the final cost of your software somewhat by eliminating features you don’t need.
As a general rule, your software will be more expensive the more features it has. If something is on your wish list, it doesn’t mean it deserves a spot on your must-have or needs list, especially if money is tight.
Contact Sunlight Media
If you’re going to hire a software company to create software for your business, you’ve found your best here at Sunlight Media.
With decades of combined experience, our software designers use a wide variety of technologies and platforms to create software for companies in many industries. No matter how big or small your project is, we’ll create a fully functional, intuitive software solution that will grow with your business.
Our software developer is ready to discuss your project so we can create the best software solution for your business .
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