6 Ways to Effectively Improve Your Business’s Software Management

Whether you run a business or simply work for the tech department, you understand that having the right software is essential to the success of your company. Software can make your workday easy, but it can also cause unnecessary stress and grief if something goes wrong. If you find your company struggling with ways to manage and maintain your business’s software, here are six things that you can do today.

Store Some Data In the Cloud

If you are unable to store all of your data in the public cloud for security reasons, consider a robust hybrid cloud management tool to make data storage simple and efficient. A hybrid cloud management tool helps keep your data organized no matter where it is stored—in the public cloud, on a private server, or even on-prem in your company offices. Cloud storage saves you money because you are able to store data remotely instead of on an on-prem server that has to be maintained and occasionally replaced (which is not cheap). It also acts as a failsafe in the event that your data is compromised. If data is also backed up in the cloud, you’ll have no trouble accessing it even if your on-prem versions are destroyed. 

Perform Maintenance and Updates

Performing updates on software can be a pain. The automatic updates always occur at the least convenient times and they are rarely quick. Even scheduling them to occur overnight can cause stress. It is very tempting to just skip software updates altogether, but that is not a good idea. Not all updates contain new product features; in fact, many actually contain important things that you are unaware of, such as security patches and bug fixes. Choosing not to apply these fixes can be devastating for your company. The majority of security breaches in 2019 were the result of unapplied security patches—something that is completely avoidable if you are willing to take the time to simply allow software updates to occur, no matter how irritating they may be. 

Teach Everyone How to Use the Software They Need

Software that helps your staff perform their day-to-day tasks is great, but if it is not being used correctly, your team could be wasting time and effort. Schedule some time to ensure that each employee fully understands how to use the software that is essential to their job function. For example, teach everyone in your accounting department the in’s and out’s of the accounting software, even if some of the accounting staff has no reason to use it. You never know when someone may be out of the office and a replacement may need to step in. If they already know how to use the software, the transition should be seamless. 

Get Everyone On the Same Page

Software is only as useful as your team makes it, so get everyone on the same page regarding expectations and how to properly utilize the tools at their disposal. If you have customer relationship management (CRM) software, be sure that everyone who is logging any customer information is doing it in the same, organized way. A contact record that is missing data could be useless to your sales team, who will likely be the ones following up with the lead in the future. Create and distribute a guide or a checklist that explains how to effectively use the software that has been made available to your team so that everyone is on the same page.

Occasionally Review Your Setup

Even if things are going well and your company is successful, it is important to take the time to occasionally conduct an audit of your software and business processes to ensure that everything is running smoothly. You don’t want to waste time and money on software that is not being used or that is not being used to its potential. Poll your employees to see what software they use regularly and how they are using it. If they aren’t using all of the available capabilities, schedule a training session to teach them how to get the most from the tools that the company has provided. Conversely, if people are rarely using software, it may be time to consider getting rid of it or looking for an alternative depending on the reason why it is not being used. If it is unnecessary, you can probably let it go. If it isn’t helpful to your staff or is just cumbersome to manage, look for an alternative. 

Listen to Your Team

While it is important to assess the effectiveness of your existing software, it is also important to assess what may be missing and look for holes in your suite of software. Ask your employees if they feel there is anything missing that would make their jobs easier, and actively listen to their response. You could be overlooking something simple that can make your business much more efficient. 

Managing and maintaining your business’s software needs is an ongoing process. Use these tips to ensure that you are making the most of the products and tools that have been made available to your company.