When it comes to choosing software applications, many different factors should be considered. Chief among these is the cost of implementation into your current infrastructure. Beyond that, you’ll need to weigh factors such as usability, scalability and compatibility with your already-existing applications.
Some companies operate from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. They’re content to use the same old software that they’ve been using for over a decade. This basically means they don’t want to expend the energy to upgrade to newer (read: more efficient) software applications that can help them better compete within their industry.
Buying new software is a necessary good (or evil) that every company should embrace. The difficulty is that virtually an infinite amount of applications is available to choose from, so discerning which applications are best for your company is a challenge. A crucial step in this process is to eliminate any misunderstandings about what’s available so that you can choose applications that best match your company’s objectives. Let’s examine six types of essential business software.
Six Types of Business Applications to Consider
Accounting software can be used in a myriad of ways. From tracking daily expenses to setting up payroll to paying vendors, accounting software helps you effectively manage your financial assets. Popular applications such as QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax tend to rule the accounting software roost these days.
Odds are you’re using something more sophisticated than a Web-only email interface to communicate with employees. A better choice is a dedicated application for sending and managing email, as well as saving important contacts. Dependable applications include Apple Mail, Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook.
3. Human Resource Information System (HRIS):
HRIS applications serve one function: tracking and managing all assets related to human resources. This includes everything from payroll and employee-specific data to managing policy, hiring and other HR-related documentation.
4. Collaboration/Project Management:
As the workplace becomes increasingly interconnected, the need for streamlined collaboration and project management solutions is becoming an integral part of business productivity. Although there’s no shortage of collaboration software, the go-to solution is quickly becoming Microsoft’s SharePoint platform. Some companies offer SharePoint hosting services and may be a good option for your organization if you’re interested in saving yourself some time and energy.
5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM):
Your company’s sales team is the vehicle that drives your company toward being a leader in your field. CRM software empowers your team with tools that manage interactions with current, future and past customers. Allowing better communication among team members and a greater ability to understand customer demands, an effective CRM system can increase your success with clients.
6. Mobile Applications:
Whether anyone likes it or not, the workplace is mobile and will stay that way. Being mobile isn’t just about having a cool-looking smartphone. It’s about making job functions easier. By using a mobile payment application such as Square, you can empower your sales team to accept instant payments from customers. Although the mobile application market can seem intimidating, the good news is that testing these applications comes with very little risk.
New Software Is All About Efficiency
At the end of the day, choosing new software is all about making your business run more efficiently. Although researching new software can be arduous, the idea behind it is incredibly simple. If the application makes life easier for your business, implement it. If it doesn’t deliver, put it back on the shelf. The efforts of learning about what’s available, prioritizing what’s important to your business, and then making the best choice will all pay off in making your company more streamlined and successful.