The requirements of a business change all the time but we often see that software and processes are the last things to be changed. If the answer to the question of “why are you using that bit of software?” is “that is what we have always used” then it might time to take a closer look for some of the signs below that what you have always used may be past it use by date. So let’s take a look at some of the signs that might trigger a search for new software.
Your Business Has Expanded
Small companies make do. People cover multiple roles, decisions are made fast, software is often based on the needs of now and even sometimes “what do we already have?”
As you expand so do your requirements for better software. A simple spreadsheet might have worked when you were small but now you need to track what people are doing, have some kind of permission structure or an approval process added in so many people can work on the same data at the same time.
You might have started with one office and now have expanded to multiple locations, or you want to allow people to work from home or on the road with different devices than your current software can deal with.
Your Employees Are Getting Bogged Down In Repetitive Tasks
This is rarely the best use of an employee’s time, especially when it is exactly what software excels at. The difficulty is often spotting it. It requires the person actually doing the repetitive task to both realise that there could be a better way and not be afraid out outsourcing some of their work to a computer.
You need an environment where removing these tasks from your employees is rewarded with more fulfilling and higher value work rather than an environment where the employee is worried about losing their job.
New Business Processes Are Making You Less Efficient
As companies grow and change there are often more and more processes added. For example as part of our ISO27001 most of our company processes had to be documented but that is not then end of the workload. On top of that our employees need to be monitored against following those processes and failures have to be recorded and effort given to coming up with new processes to stop them happening again. It has added admin tasks to all employees in the company.
In order to stop admin overload we invested in software to make things as streamlined as possible. The takeaway being that when new processes are added then it is a good idea to see if those processes can be streamlined by use of software.
Your Organisation’s Software Is Becoming Disjointed
This can just happen naturally over time, especially if there is not a global software strategy that someone is managing. Employees or teams can each be using different bits of software to do similar things. Or software introduced over time can be standalone where it needs to be integrated into the total software solution.
You Have Not Changed Or Added Software In The Last Couple of Years
This can be broken down into two issues. The most serious is to be using software, especially in business critical situations, that is no longer being updated or supported. I think we have all read the stories about how some organisations are running software that has not been updated and can only run on very old and unsupported operating systems. When something goes wrong it goes wrong in a big way.
The second issue is more of a sense check. The software available to businesses is staggering, nearly everything you can think of either can be developed or has been developed. It therefore means that you should over time be changing or adding software to your organisation. If you haven’t in a while it might be worth checking that your software requirements are all being met.
You may have noticed that for a software development company we have not made this blog about bespoke development and the reason for that is that there is a lot of great software on the market that might meet your needs (also, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel!). In the next blog to we look at reasons for including bespoke software in your plans but in the meantime if you need any help with any of the above, including tracking down the right bit of off the shelf software if that is available and meets your needs, then just get in touch.