Factors Guiding your Software Purchase Decision
With hundreds, even thousands of software products available in each category, there are likely a few products or suites that will closely match your needs. Here's a short checklist of factors you will need to integrate into your final decision. Don't forget any of these:
- Cost is probably the ruling factor of your decision. It might be less of a factor than you realize, especially if you are relatively new to software purchasing. Depending on your needs, you may find that bargain basement software does the trick for you. Of course, for larger corporations with bigger demands, it may be necessary to pay top dollar for the most robust, effective software.
- Functionality and usability go hand in hand. When you get the trial version of the software make sure that you let all possible users get a good look at it to see if the software is viable for their departmental needs and that they find it easy to use. Ideally? Survey them on three different software packages.
- Integration of the software with all your other software and operating systems should never be underestimated. The inability of some software to integrate with other systems and software may make it cheaper, but the workarounds you'll need to put in place to make it work could become costly.
- Maintenance and other ongoing costs are related to the above, and they may be difficult to assess. It is a good idea to talk to others who have purchased the software consult web forums, etc. Find out if the software has caused any expensive problems or whether it has been difficult to maintain. Some software packages initially reasonable are expensive in the long term.
- Trials . Trial versions of software are ideal and commonplace. If the company you are dealing with does not allow you to try out their software this may indicate they have something to hide or they are simply amateurs. Its still worth your while to investigate the software before you submit to a trial; the trial is going to cost time.