Software Selection for Your Business

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How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business. A practial guide to effective software selection for SMEs.

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Software Selection for Your Business

  1. 1. How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE SOFTWARE SELECTION FOR SMEs ONLINE WEBINAR: August 2010
  2. 2. What to expect from today’s webinar… 1. Why you need the right software for your business 2. Common problems in software selection 3. Our 5 step methodology for choosing software 4. Practical examples and case studies 5. Next steps Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  3. 3. Why do you need the right software for your business? Increase sales Improve customer service Streamline processes Engage your workforce Make better decisions Share knowledge Reduce costs Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  4. 4. Common problems with SMB software selection All too hard. Keep using Defer or postpone. Good inefficient manual processes, intentions but never quite get work-arounds & legacy systems around to making a decision. Leap of faith. No systematic Reinvent the wheel. Build a approach, rely on referral, google custom solution despite 100+ search, or prior experience alternatives on the market. Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  5. 5. Typical concerns people face when choosing software  Risk of getting it wrong  Unsure where to start or how to go about it  Overwhelming number of options  Unfamiliar IT or software jargon  Don’t know how to evaluate properly  Worried about process of recommending to boss  Possibility of missing out on the best option Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  6. 6. The software selection balancing act… Simplistic & shallow Complex & unwieldy Very easy to follow but Very thorough methods ignores critical steps and but too time consuming & may lead to poor decisions require specialist IT skills Practical & effective Helps SMBs consider the key issues and make an informed & timely decision Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  7. 7. Our approach to software selection for SMBs 1 UNDERSTAND Software must deliver real business outcomes. Start by NEEDS understanding which outcomes you are looking for. 2 DEFINE Translate your business needs identified above into specific REQUIREMENTS software requirements. 3 IDENTIFY Identify all available software options that are relevant to your SOFTWARE requirements and should be considered 4 SHORTLIST Filter the list of available options down to a manageable shortlist OPTIONS to consider in more detail 5 EVALUATE & Investigate your shortlisted options in detail – including a trial or DECIDE demo – and evaluate & compare to arrive at a final decision Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  8. 8. Step 1: Understand your business needs Common mistakes:  IT as a solution looking for a problem  Solving the wrong problem  Unclear what success looks like Can you answer the following?  What is the business need and why does it matter?  How will software help address this need?  What other changes (e.g. people or process) will be required?  What is your budget and timeframe?  Are there any historical, cultural or other issues to consider? Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  9. 9. Step 2: Define your software requirements • Weiger’s 10 criteria for software requirements Complete Necessary Verifiable Traceable Correct Prioritized Consistent Feasible Unambiguous Modifiable • Some things we suggest thinking about: – Scope: stand-alone system or integrated – Platform: in-house vs hosted – Features: what is must have vs nice to have? – Benefits: e.g. ease of use vs scalability, etc – Process: how it ties into business processes Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  10. 10. Step 3: Identify available software Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  11. 11. Step 4: Shortlist the best options PRODUCT PRODUCT PRODUCT X Y Z   Integrates with MYOB   Exports CSV files    Online access   <$1000   Multi-user Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  12. 12. Step 5: Evaluate and decide Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  13. 13. Example #1: Online database system for consulting firm Good control over user Unlimited applications (e.g. Define tabs for each Publish own custom access and Mark et Insights, etc) element of company help guides permissions framework Re-brand app (including logo in header) Customise quick link s and page layout Generates a lik ely reports Add modules automatically to “section home pages”, including rich Add and save text, common own reports reports, etc Useful “help tips” relevant to the specific page or context Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  14. 14. Example #2: Website CMS for psychology test company Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  15. 15. Example #3: Scanning solution for steel manufacturer Automatic steel slitting Slit coils bound lines and labeled Work Order Completions Updates done on back -end terminals on ERP system shop floor in real time Barcode labels printed automatically Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  16. 16. Summary and next steps… • Some key lessons to remember: o Your business drives your software choices (not vice versa) o Relax. There are plenty of good options out there. o Robust approach = relevant software = better results • Now apply the framework to your business: 1. What are your business needs? 2. How can software help address these needs? 3. What solutions are available off-the-shelf? 4. Which products are worth having on your shortlist? 5. How do you evaluate and make your final decision? Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com
  17. 17. Thanks for taking part in this webinar • How Software Shortlist can help – Learn more about this methodology with our free ebook – See what’s available on our extensive software directory – Use our patent-pending online software comparison tool – Speed up your evaluation process with independent software reviews – Register with our “Get a Shortlist” service and we’ll connect you with relevant vendors and service providers – Enquire about our independent Software selection consulting Online Webinar: How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business www.softwareshortlist.com

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