Signs It’s Time to Update Your Business Software & How to Upgrade
Technology is essential for business tasks like tracking manufacturing and distribution, managing inventory and the supply chain, and handling administrative duties. Once business leaders establish technological systems, it’s all too common for no one to think about it again for a decade. This isn’t a great business practice.
Successful businesses are constantly updating their software to make processes more efficient and to improve the user experience for customers. Haven’t updated your company’s technology in a while? There’s no need to worry.
If you take a minute to analyze your business processes, you may find there are some tell-tale signs it’s time for an upgrade.
1. Your Team Uses Different Software for Different Processes
Do you find that your team is constantly jumping from one platform to another? Are there different applications your team uses for different business processes?
You can lose time and productivity if you are always having to change systems and platforms. Not to mention, using multiple applications can slow down your computer.
2. Team Members Frequently Complain About the Software They Use
There is nothing worse than not being able to do your job well because of technology.
Questions to ask yourself about your team’s experience are:
- Is your team having to do a lot of manual business processes?
- Is it difficult to access the data your team needs to access daily?
- Is your business data available on the cloud for easy access?
- Is your software slow enough to cause frustration among your staff?
If you notice your team complaining about outdated software, slow hardware, or systems that hinder everyday duties, it won’t be long before you start seeing a drop in morale and productivity.
3. Your Business is Shifting Gears
If you’ve decided it’s time for your company to change directions, you may need to also upgrade your technology to better align with your new business goals. Perhaps you want to acquire new laptops, smartphones, or tablets for your team. Perhaps you simply want to set up new systems.
When shifting directions, new technology can help you achieve your business goals. Research new technological solutions that might be a good fit for your business, and evaluate your options.
4. The User Experience is Convoluted and Difficult
Talk to your customers to find out what the user experience is like with your website or any other systems they use to purchase goods or services from your business. Is the whole process too chaotic? How is the workflow efficiency? Are your systems causing you to have difficulty when scaling your business and adding more customers?
These are all signs it’s time to improve the user experience. The last thing you want is for your website or app to be giving customers the wrong impression about your business.
5. Your Software Isn’t Secure
Security for your company is crucial. If you find the software is being threatened, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. Customers will be able to trust your business more if they know their information is secure in your system.
If you haven’t upgraded in a while and you’re using older technology, you may be more vulnerable to security breaches. This can put your company and your customers in a bad position.
How to Upgrade Your Business Software
Alright, so you’ve taken a look at your business, you’ve assessed your situation, and you’ve noticed the signs that you need to give your business technology an upgrade. So what are the next steps? How should you go about getting started with updating your business technology?
1. Make Things Simple
You want to take a look at your current processes and figure out how you can streamline as much as possible. Unfortunately, business leaders can tend to overcomplicate things.
Identify your business goals, and research the best software to help you achieve as many of those goals as possible. Automate as much of the business processes as you can.
When you have put your new systems into place, don’t forget to test the new workflow. You want to be able to identify any issues so you can work to improve the effectiveness of any new systems.
2. Hire a Software Developer
Hiring a software developer is often one of the easiest ways to update your business software. In most cases, these experts will be able to go into your software, diagnose any problems you are having, and help you to find the right solutions for your business.
You may find it helpful to keep the software developer on retainer so that if you run into issues in the future, you can consult with them to find the best solution. This way, they can help you to ensure that your business processes continue to run smoothly.
3. Take a Web Design Class
If a lot of your issues have to do with your website, you may want to take web design classes yourself. In a web design class, you can learn the basics about web development, web coding principles, web graphics, and user experience.
You may be thinking that you’re interested in running your business, not becoming a web designer. However, as technology becomes more and more intertwined with business processes, you are likely to be much more successful in your business if you have a basic knowledge of how software and web design can work to help you have more efficient business processes.
If you want to improve the technology in your business, there are a lot of things you can do to stay current. It’s important to regularly take a look at your business processes and assess whether or not your technology is working for you.
*This article is written by Ainsley Lawrence. View more of Ainsley’s articles here.