If you’re looking to invest in a new software program, you’ll want that software to be with you for years to come – not software that will become outdated in a few months. But how will you know that the software you’ve picked will stand the test of time?
Fortunately, there are some factors to consider when picking the best software for your business. If you’re looking for a new software solution or trying to determine if your current setup has staying power, consider these six factors that will impact your software longevity.
Off-The-Shelf vs. Custom Software
Ease of Use
Cost & Training
Off-The-Shelf vs. Custom Software
Many businesses choose off-the-shelf options because they need an inexpensive software solution that can be rolled out immediately. However, while these off-the-shelf solutions can be great for the short term, they might not be the best option in terms of longevity.
A custom software solution is a better option if you want a solution that closely matches your business processes with flexibility and longevity. While a custom software solution may be more expensive and time-consuming on the front end, these unique programs are easier to scale, grow and have everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Ease of Use
Once you’ve decided on what type of software you want, another essential factor to consider is how usable that software is. The usability of any software you choose can impact your team in two ways: internally or externally.
If you want a specific program for your internal teams, your software of choice should be easy to use, navigate and teach to your employees. Likewise, the software options for external users need to have good usability with both UI/UX.
If you present a clunky or difficult to use software option to your customers or employees – you will have immediate problems. Potential customers are more likely to leave a website or not use software if its difficult to navigate and utilize. The same goes for your internal team. If you pick a software program internally that’s hard to use and a challenge to your team – you risk having unhappy employees and a lot of wasted time trying to learn/understand the software.
Cost & Training
If you’ve found a software solution that works for you today – you should think about what its implementation will cost you down the road. How much will this particular program cost in both money and training resources?
There are two main costs associated with purchasing a new type of software: The initial purchase price of the software (and any licenses or ongoing fees) and the cost of training employees how to use it properly to do their jobs better. Licenses and fees can rack up pretty quickly, not to mention how much off-the-shelf solutions can cost your business at the enterprise level.
How will the software you pick grow with your business and match your business processes? Depending on where your business is within the stage of its growth, specific software options may make more sense than others. Pick a software that can be easily integrated with other programs and solutions within your processes.
You can guarantee that your business will change over time, so your software solution should be able to change with it. If you choose software that cannot scale as your business does – it will quickly become outdated and problematic. Instead, look at software options that can scale for both users and its features.
The Underlying Code
Many businesses overlook one factor when deciding on their software of choice: its code. The code used to write the software is one of the most important factors to consider. The type of code used to build a software solution will dictate how easily other developers or programmers can use or alter it down the road, which ultimately impacts how long any given software solution lasts.
While some ancient software programs exist (Ie, Microsoft office), some programs are written on outdated code that can’t be updated anymore. So when you choose your long-term software, pick one that is in a language that is still used today and can be easily scaled and adjusted by a developer if needed.
How secure is the software program you are looking to purchase or build? With so many hacks and data breaches happening every day, the software you choose and how protected it is will significantly impact its longevity.
An excellent software solution should have a comprehensive security plan in place. These security measures should cover everything from password protection to firewalls and intrusion detection. If your software solution is not protected, how long do you think it will serve you and your business? Not very long at all.
For off-the-shelf options – have you ever heard about this software solution? Are other companies using this same type of software? For the custom software route – is the software vendor credible? Do they have a good reputation?
If you are thinking about switching software vendors, make sure to carefully research all of your options. It might be tempting to go with the newest or most flashy solution on the market, but if they doesn’t have a solid track record, it may not be worth your time and money in the long run.
Choose FHG For Your Custom Software Solution
If you want your software to have some staying power, think about building a custom solution. Building a custom solution will not only provide your business with precisely what you need, but it can be secure, scalable, and easy to use. When you’re ready for your new software solution – reach out to our team at Flint Hills Group.
We offer a long list of custom software solutions for your unique needs. With our US-based software developers with over 20-30 years of individual expertise, there isn’t a project we can’t do. So don’t just settle for an off-the-shelf solution or a fad that will have you looking for new programs in a year or two. Instead, reach out to our team at FHG and let us build you something that will grow, scale, and fit your business.
Julie Simpson is a freelance writer, SEO consultant and technology enthusiast from Lucedale, Mississippi. When not writing articles and updating websites, she can be found working on her 7-acre farm with her husband, daughters, and assortment of plants, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep.
Julie Simpson Technology Enthusiast
Julie Simpson is a freelance writer. SEO consultant and technology enthusiast from Lucedale, Mississippi. When not writing articles and updating websites, she can be found working on her 7-acre farm with her husband, daughters, and assortment of plants, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep.