In the Digital Age, having the right types of business software and solutions packages can be critical to meeting deadlines and making sales. To choose the right software tools for your company, you will want to evaluate and review the potential options as well as the solutions you are currently using. Keep in mind that having all the bells and whistles is not always necessary for an application to be the best fit for your needs and that the security of any piece of software is only as good as your overall cybersecurity system.
Identify Which Issues Need Solutions
Whether you are shopping for new software or evaluating the solutions you already use, the best place to start is by identifying what you need the software to do, how your current systems are working and what can be improved. For instance, if your last application release to customers was vulnerable to a zero day exploit attack, then you will probably be looking for software designed to spot and react to such attacks more quickly.
Talk To the Software Users
It is important to elicit feedback from multiple people who are using current systems as well as those who will be using future ones to determine which features and issues should be addressed. Sometimes this means eliciting responses from your customers and other times, it means talking to your employees. Feedback should be given to an evaluation team so that members can divide the tasks up and look through responses for common concerns, but this evaluation team can also be the department that will be using the software. For instance, if you are evaluating your bookkeeping system, then tasking members of your accounting department with gathering feedback and researching solutions will let you take advantage of their relevant work experience.
Research, List, and Narrow Your Options
Once you know what you need, as well as what is and is not working well with your current solutions, it is time to research your available options and list the best candidates. You can then work with the evaluation team to make a list of pros and cons for each option to narrow the choice to the best fit. Remember that the cost of the software should be weighed against other factors because a cheap solution that does not meet all of your needs is still a waste of time and money.
Have a Test Team and Process
Whether you are purchasing new software or designing your own solutions in-house, testing is important. Your designated test team can help you spot zero-day vulnerabilities, determine if the number of features is easy for users to navigate and much more. Supply each tester a form with a list of questions to answer as they test out features as well as a list of specific tasks you would like them to do. Most software companies will allow you to test out a trial copy before purchase for this because it can not only lead to you buying the solutions, but it can also generate valuable user feedback for their development teams.
Keep Feedback Channels Open
Once you have chosen, tested and purchased new business software, it is important to keep the feedback channels you established during the research phase open. This can allow you to keep track of how the software is meeting expectations as well as troubleshoot any problems as they arise. By encouraging users to share performance information over time, you can more easily correct bugs in the software and evaluate the solution in the future. For instance, if you adopt a new customer relationship management dashboard and want to see if it is the right interface for your employees, you can track their satisfaction over time with regular feedback reports and make changes once the solution is not working as expected.
Reviewing and evaluating the business tools your company uses or produces can help you choose better solutions to everyday tasks and tailor your work environment to better meet your needs. This means eliciting feedback from those who use the software and hardware in question as well as researching available options and testing new innovations in your work environment.