How To Choose & Implement New Software
Every company will have to go through the process of shopping for new technology at some point. And while not every tool will require the same level of thought or research, it’s important to think of software as an investment.
For it to be an effective component of your business’s growth strategy, you need to invest in the right software and successfully implement it. Here are our top tips and insights to do just that:
Finding the Right Software
Research: It’s crucial to understand your needs, your budget, and your expectations before you start looking at software or talking to providers. Ask your team about their biggest pain points and what improvements they’d like to see. Only once you have a clear picture of your needs can you start looking for a solution to match.
Discovery: When purchasing software most companies only focus on finding the right product. However, finding the right partner is equally important – you’ll be relying on them for setup, ongoing system maintenance, and support. Each software partner will have its unique set of services, pricing, and areas of focus. Make sure to put thought and time into this to find one that will help you make the most of your new solution.
Demo: A demo will allow decision-making members and key users to see the software in action. Make sure it’s live and personalized to your business, based on your discussion with the software provider in the previous stage. You should be able to ask questions and completely explore any feature of the software. Evaluate the tool using the criteria developed at the research stage.
Purchase: It’s important to know what implementation and support services are covered by the vendor and what isn’t. Understand your total costs: software, implementation, training, plus ongoing support and maintenance costs before signing the dotted line.
Successfully Implementing the Software
– Establish an implementation team. Give each person a specific role, like report setup or training, and set key milestones to track progress.
– Request your software vendor to customize your new solution to your business.
– Practice day-to-day scenarios with your team. This will help them understand how to use the software better.
– Test it so you can make adjustments before you take it live.
– Take the time to clean up your legacy data before loading it into your new software so you can start with a clean slate.
– Start training employees to use the new software during the setup process itself to make the transition smoother.