Evaluating What Your Business Requires From A Software Solution
Before deciding what type of software solution you will need, you must first have a full understanding of what you need that software to accomplish for your business. Will you be using it to interact with customers, track orders, and manage the customer experience? Are you looking for a simple accounting software that can easily be used across all departments? Or are you looking to implement a business intelligence solution that will bring order to your data and unlock insights?
By taking the time to understand your business goals and how software can help you accomplish those goals, you ensure that you'll get the most out of any software solution you choose. Use the following checklist to get a sense of what you might need from your solution.
so how do you go about evaluating your business's software requirements?
1. identify the aim and desired outcome
What is the goal of implementing this new piece of software? What is its mission statement? Perhaps you’re hoping to be able to sell your goods efficiently online, or you want to make better strategic decisions through the use of business intelligence. Try to make the goal of the software as clearly defined as possible – this will aid in streamlining the entire process.
The endless capabilities of modern day software allow for this aim and desired outcome to be quite literally anything.
2. speak with key stakeholders
It’s important to get input from all levels of the organization, especially those on the front line who will be dealing with the software firsthand. Employees with direct relationships to your customers, end users and IT personnel will provide some of the most valuable insights into what your solution should entail.
3. compile a list of requirements
Once you have spoken to your key stakeholders, come up with a complete list of requirements that your solution should be able to deliver. These requirements should represent all of the capabilities of your ideal software solution.
Some examples include:
- Simple functionality that allows people to operate the software easily and intuitively
- Access to comprehensive analytics on the data that the software gathers
4. prioritize those requirements
Which of your listed requirements is most important to you? If you choose an off-the-shelf solution it will be very rare that every single one of your needs will be met, so it’s important that you prioritize your requirements and ensure the most pressing will be addressed. Mark each requirement either ‘Must Have’, ‘Nice to Have’ or ‘No Preference’ in order to identify the most important aspects of your potential solution.
5. examine your current capabilities
What are the capabilities of your current business software systems? Should you look to include aspects of these systems in your new one, consolidating multiple pieces of software into one efficient program? Or does a piece of current software have the capability to be expanded or augmented to obtain your new goal?
After getting a good sense of both what you need from your solution and what your business’s current state of affairs is, it’s time to begin researching options and evaluating those that match.
Will these matches be custom, packaged or a bit of a mix? If it’s something simple – basic business accounting software for example – the likelihood that a suitable off-the-shelf solution already exists is high. But if the improvement you hope to make is more unique to your business or can separate you in the marketplace, you may need to go for a custom solution in order to achieve positive results. To learn more about making that decision download our, take a look at how custom and an off-the-shelf business software solutions differ in this ebook.
Custom Software or Off the Shelf?
You’ve identified an area of your business that has room for improvement, whether that be in the form of an opportunity to streamline your operations, or the chance to capitalize on a new revenue stream. In order to create this improvement you’ll need a capable piece of business software. In this ebook, you’ll learn what to consider when building custom software vs. buying off the shelf.
If you are ready to discuss your specific challenges or what CSG can offer, you can contact us to learn more about how to start implementing your solution.