Tips For Analyzing Off-The-Shelf Business Software
When purchasing business software, business owners can find an array of off-the-shelf products. To make sure they get the most value for their money, they should consider the following points.
Up-front And Long-term Costs
Business software can require a fairly significant investment. The cost of a software product is usually determined by the number of individual users who will install and/or access the program or how many users will be accessing it at one time. In addition to the upfront cost of buying and installing the software, there may be additional charges later on for maintenance, support, and upgrades.
development Bug Fixes
Business owners and their employees should be prepared to encounter bugs in any software program. It's good to know in advance how the software company handles these problems. Some respond to bug reports right away, while others compile a list and release new versions with fixes every few months or even once a year. Before purchasing business software, business owners should know what their employees and customers can expect in terms of bug fixes.
Another very important consideration is how well the software can accommodate a growing business's needs. If the business has a sudden or sharp increase in its work load, the software should be able to adapt. Thus, before purchasing a software program, it's a good idea to see what extra features can be added on as needed and how much customizations will cost. Some business owners prefer application development in order to ensure scalability.
Often business owners and employees need access to technical support for business software. When problems occur, it's important to be able to get help right away to avoid unnecessary downtime. Before purchasing off-the-shelf software, business owners should find out what the customer service hours are and how well the schedule matches the needs of the business.
Finally, business owners should only purchase off-the-shelf software from a company that provides a satisfaction guarantee. It may be that the software does not actually do what the business needs, and if that is the case, it should be possible to get a quick refund. Purchasers should make sure they understand the return policy and the number of days they have to make a decision about returning software.
By following these tips, business owners can evaluate off-the-shelf business software before making a purchase. In some cases, business owners discover that no off-the-shelf product quite meets their needs, and they opt for custom software development instead. A custom software developer designs programs that are tailored to the customer's business and designed to increase efficiency.