By Joey Tait, Managing Director at develop
We’re working in a world that not only is fluctuating at a rapid pace due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is also prone to disruption, innovation and change brought about by advancements in technology. Tech adapts at the speed of light, and many organisations will find themselves falling behind, rather than leading the pack. Even if you’ve made good investments in the past, few organisations are taking full advantage of the software available to them. Too many are guilty of ‘setting and forgetting’, losing efficiency by not staying on top of updates.
When is the right time to invest in new software? This year, many organisations have struggled with legacy infrastructure that can’t keep up with the changed environment. Good software should revolutionise and reinvigorate enterprises. If it doesn’t work properly it can stop you in your tracks.
Have you outgrown your current software? What do you want from your software? Is your software working for or against your business needs?
It’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate whether you’re investing in the right software for your business. If your technology isn’t working for you, then it isn’t working. You need an upgrade. We’ve explored five core things to consider when looking at your software: portability, scalability, dependability, efficiency and compatibility.
Today, the ability to be able to work from anywhere is a requirement for companies, large and small. In fact, since February, a lot has changed as almost a quarter of the UK’s workforce have now moved solely to working away from the office. This is a shift that many business leaders will not have considered or expected, and unfortunately software updates may have suffered as a result.
This means that regularly checking in on the usability of your software in different locations and on varying devices needs to be a key consideration for decision makers within all businesses. Does it function reliably across phones, tablets, laptops and desktops? How easy is it for users to install updates and back up data? Too often, businesses invest in portable devices without properly considering the supporting software. Both need to work together to enable remote working.
If you have a different variety of software programmes that don’t all work in harmony, and across all functions and technologies in the business, then you should take the time to align these to maximise their potential – and yours.
It’s essential for your software to be scalable and this should be prioritised as a business-critical element of your operations. In the long run, scalable software reduces maintenance costs, offers a better user experience, and increased agility.
For start-ups taking their first steps into a market affected by hiring disruptions, an economic downturn and a strain on resourcing, making strong choices regarding software is beneficial both now and for long-term growth plans. The number of new UK tech start-ups increased by almost 16 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, and their ability to scale quickly will rely partly on whether their software can grow with them.
We usually think of this in terms of scaling up, but organisations need software that can be scaled back during quieter times, too. Software Engineers walk a narrow line to produce this balance. Monitor the agility of your software to fit with the demands of the business and ensure it can change with your needs.
The last thing you want to be thinking about when you’re up against it with a deadline, is whether your software is reliable and providing you with the correct information. You need a piece of software that you can trust to collect and present the data that you need quickly and efficiently, enabling you to make crucial decisions in high pressure situations, without delay.
Aside from saving time, dependable software also increases data accuracy, and streamlines data handling – a win-win for employers and employees. Outdated software opens up a more worrying concern: the exposure to risk. It is essential for senior figures with a technical mindset to come together with key decision makers to ensure that this is minimised.
Most of all, and quite simply, take the time to check in with your team to see if they are confident in the programmes they are working with.
As mentioned earlier, if your software isn’t working for you, or doesn’t allow you to work efficiently, then it isn’t working. You need an upgrade. The software you use at work should be as intuitive as finding your next TV series to binge. Software Engineers always have the end-user in mind, contributing to the streamlining and efficiency of software programmes.
Every piece of software you invest in should make your life easier, and definitely shouldn’t create an extra pain point for you. This will allow your business to keep pace and be agile enough to compete within your market.
Software now underpins most businesses with programmes available to efficiently run functions from sales to accounts. Your business can receive a significant boost if you’re using the right software.
Finally, is your software compatible with a range of devices? Does it integrate with other applications you use? We witness integration issues often when businesses experience a rapid period of growth. Several pieces of software are used to overcome organisational challenges and as businesses grow, these may not all be fit for purpose.
It may be that just one piece of software needs to change, or you might want a new suite of programmes that will help you be more efficient. Software teams are able to help you diagnose problems and build solutions.
Integral to compatibility is understanding the uses of each different piece of software that the business uses. If you can streamline this, by using one type of programme, this will ensure you don’t hit any snags when switching to another device or accessing work in a different location – which is more than likely now!
Have you experienced a familiar feeling reading through these signs? It’s time to explore whether you’re investing in the right software for your business. Having a strong, reliable and knowledgeable team of professionals behind your software can really improve the services you provide. After all, it’s key to invest in software that truly works for your business.