6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Software

When considering software for your business, there are a number of factors you’ll want to take into consideration before you make a buying decision. Taking your time will end up not only saving you money, but will help to ensure that you end up with the right options for your company.

 

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  1. How does the software price correspond to the value it can provide to my company?

You can’t judge the quality of a software package by its price; some inexpensive packages can give you good value and in some instances you end up paying extra money for frills that you are not likely to ever use. Before you get distracted by all the things that a particular software option “can” do for you, decide what you really “need” it to do for your business. Once you have the core functions you are looking for squarely in your sights, it will be easier to compare your options.

  1. Does this software duplicate something that I can already do with what I currently have?

Before you start buying new software to help you perform a function better or faster, make sure that you don’t already have the solution available to you. You may be better off looking at application integration before you invest in more full software packages.

  1. Will the software company provide notice of maintenance updates to its customers?

The last thing you want is to try to access the software at a critical time and find that you are unable to do so because of an update.

  1. Can you use the package on a month-to-month basis or are you required to commit to a longer-term contract?

If you try a particular type of software and find that it isn’t right for your business, you’ll want to know exactly what penalties you will be charged for ending the contract early. You may have to pay more for going month-to-month but it may be worthwhile until you decide whether a particular program will work well for your business.

  1. When can you get support, if needed? What type of support does the company offer?

Before buying business software, find out the normal hours when technical support representatives are available. You’ll also want to ask whether support is available by phone, email or live chat. If you are expected to fill out a support ticket and wait for a response, ask what the standard response time is for regular requests and if there is a procedure for having urgent ones dealt with more quickly.

  1. Can the software be customized to meet your needs?

Will it be a good fit for now, and as your business grows? Since your business needs will change and evolve over time, the software you choose should be flexible enough to be able to adapt with you. Look for a software provider that has either more than one version or features that you can “grow” into as your business grows.

The answers to these questions will help to keep you on track as you look for the right software for your business. Use them for the options that you have placed on your short list to help you make your final decision.