It’s imperative that your organization’s software is managed properly. If you can’t do this, then your operations can suffer in the long run. While this might sound like a lot of work, software management isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you break it down into compartmentalized tasks. Ultimately, you can group it into three major steps: leveraging available assets, testing strategies, and understanding the software.
Leverage Your Available Assets
The first thing you want to keep in mind is that your software solution should be implemented because it fulfills your specific needs. You should never implement a solution that is purchased on a whim for convenience. You’ll only get the most out of your technology if it works for your specific needs. You want comprehensive coverage to make sure that it works to the best of its ability. After all, the last thing you want to do is piecemeal your software strategy together.
At the most basic level, most businesses will need to utilize at least a productivity suite or payroll/accounting software. Depending on your organization’s actual industry, however, you’ll encounter more complex ways to implement new software. Most of the top-notch productivity suites out there are created for very specific kinds of organizations, so knowing how you’ll be using these solutions can help you plan for the future.
Test Your Strategies
It’s unfortunately the case that problems may arise from a new software implementation. This will naturally lead to your organization working out the kinks during the implementation process. A good example is if one of your employees steps beyond the terms of a software developer’s service. A mistake like this can easily lead to an unwanted bill, so you want to make sure situations like this are limited.
In the aforementioned scenario, you should be working with your IT department to make sure that both your administrative staff and employees understand the limits of your software’s support - i.e., understanding the service level agreements that you agreed to upon implementation. It’s critical that your IT department understands how the licensing and registration of your software works so that they can best accommodate your business’ specific needs.
Understand Your Software
Maintaining your organization’s software is more than just analyzing the compatibility and cost. It includes taking an inventory of your software solutions, including to what degree your organization uses them. You will want to break down where this software is stored (whether it’s on your workstations, server units, or hosted in the cloud), as well as any other information you can think of. You should do this for each of your software solutions--not just your CRM, but any productivity applications, line of business applications, and operating systems used as well.
Once you have a comprehensive list of all your software solutions, you’ll want to focus on the licensing side of things to ensure that each of them have been implemented legally. Even if you are fairly certain that your company is only using legitimate software solutions, it’s always best to check. Furthermore, you can set alerts to manage your critical software licenses to make sure that when they are due for renewal, you are prepared to act.
Knowing how your staff uses your software is also important, but the way it’s not being used properly may yield more promising information about how to improve operations. The cost of software implementation is actually much more than the official price tag. It also includes how long it takes your staff to learn how to use it, as well as troubleshooting issues found in the software. By using a system to track costs and spending, you can make sure that your organization is getting the most that it can out of its software solutions.
Does your business need help with software management or implementation? To learn more, reach out to Directive at 607.433.2200.