Is it Time to Change Your Company’s Software?

by Klaus on August 16, 2019

in Articles

In the digital age, software is an integral part of many businesses. Whichever industry that you work in, you can be sure that software plays some role in it. The right software is incredibly valuable, and for some businesses, software can be one of their most significant assets. 

Software that does exactly what you need it to do can make life so much easier. The correct software can streamline your business processes and help your staff provide better customer service. Software not working at its best for your company can have a hugely negative impact. Now and then it is useful to re-evaluate your software to make sure it matches your business’ needs. Here are some of the issues that can impact a company when software is not fit for purpose:

Functionality

No business stays the same forever, and technology is certainly something that doesn’t standstill. Over time you may find that your software no longer matches the needs of your business. If the changes to your business are minimal, you may be able to have your software tweaked to meet your new needs. However, if your company has evolved considerably since you got your current software, it may be time to change it completely.

Reliability

A software program that doesn’t perform as it should can have a knock-on effect throughout your business. System glitches can result in mistakes, lost data and can have a massive impact on productivity. 

A lot of time can be wasted as staff attempt to resolve issues caused by software problems, and are unable to focus on the rest of their work.

Unreliable software is often worse than no software at all, as it negates its very purpose. 

User Experience

Try to get feedback from your staff on how useful the software they use is, and how suited it is to the work they currently do. Try to gain as much information as you can from your employees so that you see where improvements need to be made. From the feedback, you should be able to ascertain whether your software has a functionality issue, or if it is a question of reliability.

Software that isn’t working in the right way can impact on your staff in several ways. Firstly, staff morale can be reduced, as staff become frustrated that they don’t have the right ‘tools’ to adequately perform their job. Secondly, productivity is affected by the disruption caused by software problems.

Customer Service

It is not just your staff that will feel frustrated by software glitches; it can also impact on your customers too. Slow systems and lost information can add up to an extremely unsatisfactory customer experience, and potentially lose you customers.

Competitive Advantage

Advanced software systems can help to streamline your business and help it run more efficiently than ever before. In turn, this will give you a competitive advantage, as you should be able to offer a better service and customer experience than competing businesses.

The Process of Changing Your Company’s Software

If you do decide to go ahead and change your software, you may be wondering how the process works, and how to get started. Read on to find out more about the process of changing your company’s software:

Teamwork

You will need to appoint a software development team to handle the creation of your new software. Experienced software developers should be able to advise you whether you need a whole new system, or to make improvements to your current software.

Together you will be able to discuss what you are hoping to achieve from a change of software. The team should be able to let you know precisely how they can help you to make this a reality.

Budget

Budget is a significant issue when upgrading your software system. Developing new software which is specific to the needs of your business is something that doesn’t come cheap. You will need to decide whether your budget will get you everything that you want. Or if it will merely stretch to some improvements to your existing system.

Development Process

Software development projects are organized into phases, and worked through methodically. There are a few models which describe the process used for software development projects. These are the waterfall model, the iterative model and the spiral model of software development, all of which follow different phases for the development process. 

The development process enables each stage of the project to be worked through methodically and means that everyone involved knows what is happening, and the stage at which the project is at. Each model varies in terms of the level of detail which is involved. Obviously, more in-depth models will keep you better informed, but may also cost you more too, because of the extra work involved.

Implementation

Once your software creation is complete, the software development team will implement it. To begin with, you may want to have just a few users working with the new software so that any early concerns that are flagged up can be addressed. Once everyone is happy with the software, you will need to roll it out to your staff.

At this stage, your staff will need to be trained on how to use the new software. It may also be useful to explain to your staff why the decision was taken to develop and implement new software, and the anticipated benefits of doing it.

Evaluation

It may take a little while for everyone to get up to speed with using the new system. You may also come across staff members that are resistant to the change of software. It is often useful to gain some feedback from your employees to see how your software is shaping up and whether it is an improvement for them.

Once the project is complete and any early issues have been resolved, you should have a new software system which is not only fit for purpose but improves efficiency and productivity. This should result in satisfied customers and happy staff.

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