Change is inevitable. In 2020 alone, businesses have been forced to drastically change how they attract and interact with potential customers, how they sell/ship their goods and services as well as how they operate internally to maintain efficiency and increase productivity.
Business management software is no longer a nice-to-have, it is the foundation which supports all successful businesses in 2020; from the financial to manufacturing sectors. The ease with which individuals can write and deploy programs has resulted in the proliferation of business management software. Here are 4 things to consider before purchasing management applications for your business:
1. Is the software Application Programming Interface (API) ready?
It is unlikely that you’ll find one application that does everything your business wants/needs. APIs allow different applications to speak (share data) between each other in real-time. For example, you may have an HR application that needs to speak directly to your payroll application which in turn needs to share data with your accounting software. You may have other applications relating to your core business operations which also need to share data with your accounting software. This integration can be achieved relatively easily through APIs. Thus, API capabilities should be the number 1 consideration before purchasing any application.
While cloud-based applications that allow you to work anywhere at anytime have become increasingly popular, it is important to note that they also expose users to significant security risks. Data breaches occur within even the largest, well-funded and sophisticated companies e.g. Facebook and Disney. It is important to ensure that your solution provider is taking the utmost care to guard your clients’/business’ data. Data breaches not only expose clients’ sensitive information, they can also reveal company secrets resulting in your business losing its competitive advantage.
3. Support Availability & Cost
Unless you have an in-house development team, you will probably be highly dependent on the external software provider to fix any issues that arise or add any additional features that you need. It is crucial that you and your service provider have a clear understanding, documented and agreed upon in writing, about what is required of them. This contract should include agreed timelines and cost for software support and customizations. Having even one of your core business systems/software down for a day can be significantly detrimental to your bottom-line. It is imperative that your provider is always on-hand to resolve your issues during your time of need at an affordable cost.
4. How important is your business to the software provider?
While it may be appealing to go on Google and purchase the first software that pops up when you search, it is important to shortlist multiple providers and take note of how they interact with you during and directly after the procurement process. If the relationship seems to be one-sided, in which you are initiating most of the discussions; if the provider seems nonchalant/unresponsive then remove that provider immediately from your shortlist. This is oftentimes seen from international software providers that view the Jamaican/Caribbean as a small/insignificant market. Such vendors can be difficult to work with as what you pay them is a drop in the bucket compared to their other clients. You can avoid this hassle by working with a local/regional provider that truly appreciates your business, understands your local culture as well as industry/business practices.
About Epic Technologies
Epic Technologies is a premium, customer-centric IT and software solutions company. Buoyed by over a decade of experience in the regional insurance, human resources and finance industries, we endeavour to engineer software that drives revenue for clients by increasing operational/business efficiency.