5 signs it is time to review your business software systems
So, what are the main signs that your business needs to reviews its business software systems? Five tell-tale signs are:
- You don’t have the required data to make business decisions
If you do not have access to relevant information about your customers when making important decisions such as when adjusting prices or when choosing which products should be manufactured in future then this could be a sign that it is time for a software upgrade. Without accurate customer data, any decisions you make will be based on guesswork rather than research.
- Your investment in computer hardware has hit a plateau
When your current software system was installed it probably required an upgrade to the latest versions of servers and other computer hardware – if only because they were faster at that time. If your business is still operating with old servers then this could mean that your company is not taking advantage of new technological advancements in terms of computer speed and efficiency. In addition, if your company’s IT department has been too busy to upgrade this hardware for a long time now then it might also be because they are struggling with your current software system which is causing a lot of extra work hours that need to be spent on ‘fire-fighting’ instead of planning. Nowadays, businesses need to invest in their IT systems before their rivals do. If they fail to do so then they might start losing clients who are more technologically-savvy or who can afford to invest more into their own businesses. It is also likely that the support packages will be more expensive for old hardware.
- Your company is growing rapidly and your IT staff can’t keep up with demand
If you have started hiring extra employees to cope with the increased workload due to new business deals but they are still struggling to complete all of their work in a timely manner, then it could be a sign that your system may need a software upgrade. For example, if each employee needs an average of 10 hours per week just to deliver email messages then this could suggest that either there are problems with how efficiently all emails are being sent or these individuals should not be expected to send out 100+ emails every day. In addition, if your IT department is already working overtime but users still experience regular downtime when using the system then there might be a problem with the current software system.
- Taking advantage of new technology is harder than it used to be
The time and cost involved in learning how to use new technological advancements can also make you realize that it is time for an upgrade. Your business will not benefit from this updated system if employees do not know how to use it properly or they are too busy trying to adjust their own work habits which were based on old technology, such as wasting time making phone calls instead of sending emails. Also, if you find yourself repeatedly having to explain essential procedures to new staff members who have been hired because your company has expanded so rapidly then this could indicate a need for a software update due to its added functionality and ease-of-use.
- The number of work hours wasted due to repetitive manual tasks has increased significantly
Another sign that you need a new software update is if the number of work hours in your business that are being lost or wasted due to issues caused by your current system have increased significantly in the last six months or so. For example, if employees found themselves spending three hours per week just trying to print particular documents then this could suggest that either the printing functions on your system are not user-friendly enough or they are too complicated for users, especially when there are multiple pages involved which can be difficult to organize. If reporting features are not available within your current system, it might also take more time for employees to gather all relevant information and create reports. In addition, if your company is moving into new markets or it has started selling new products then this means that data within your current system might be out-of-date which could also add to the amount of work hours lost.
Some other bonus indicators of it being time to reviews your business’ software systems include:
- Your employees are questioning the necessity of their role
New software systems can often automate old business processes which means that some employees’ jobs could become redundant if they are not using technology properly. Since this type of system is more efficient, it takes less time to complete work tasks which means that there is more free-time available for you and your employees. However, if you have a lot of employees who spend a considerable amount of time on tasks that can be automated then this could suggest that they are not aware of the new functionality within the system which would help them become more productive and it might also mean that they need to update their own knowledge or skills so they can use the software to its full potential. If this is the case, then it might be necessary to review your software system or provide further training for employees so they can keep up with new technology trends.
- The IT department seems overworked
If the IT department spends more time fixing problems than working on projects that are designed to improve business processes then this could point to the fact that your employees are struggling with tasks that can be automated by a new software system. This means that too much time is being spent troubleshooting issues instead of finding solutions to these problems which might even require you to hire more IT staff in order to keep up with demand until your employees become more familiar with the system.
- The system is slow or sluggish
If your software system seems to be running slower than usual, then this could mean that it does not have access to the right hardware resources. Even though computers are faster today than they used to be ten years ago there are still cases when you might need more computing power in order to get the most out of the system. If this is not an option for your company, then you need to make sure that any new system would be able to adapt and cope with potential exponential growth in users.
In conclusion, when it comes to business software systems, you cannot afford to have outdated technology because this can waste time which could have been spent on generating more revenue. You need to invest in new technology so your business can operate at peak efficiency and remain competitive.
Contact us for more info.