7 Signs You Should Run Screaming From Your Software Provider
As many old fashion industries are waking up to the inevitable need of digitalisation, we're experiencing a rush to upgrade and modernise old software. And digitalise paper-based processes.
There’s the old way of providing software and there’s the new way. Make sure you invest in the right one and run away from the providers that are not looking into the future.
1. Run away from CD’s
Some companies still believe it’s better to have a well-established software provider send them CD’s to install software on the company servers. But in reality, it is the first sign to run away. Companies offering CD’s are simply not today’s key players. It’s only a sign to stop the negotiations.
But what is the other option? Software as a Service (SaaS) products are the modern alternative. The system works in a cloud and is accessible right after signing a contract. Or even prior to the contract. Many SaaS companies offer free trials to customers to choose the best provider for themselves. There are no CD’s or other gadgets to be sent back and forth.
2. Run away from extensive projects
The traditional software providers might promise the company a tailored and perfectly fit package. The problem is that especially in bigger companies the production phase can easily take more than 3 full years. Everything is planned and coded from a scratch. But technology and software systems improve so much during those 3 years, that when the tailored CD software is out, it is undoubtedly old.
But what if the software is needed right now? SaaS providers continuously update their tools and services and have a true state-of-the-art software to introduce right away. Companies can choose to start with a smaller service package and later extend the offerings. The software provider gets paid only for the services the customer decides to use. No time is wasted on building a soon-to-be-old software, but the company can use the state-of-the-art SaaS tools immediately.
3. Run away from long manuals
Is there a long manual to read or even training events to attend in order to use the software? Well, that’s a sign of hard-to-use and old-fashioned system. If you need to spend hours in training, it only means that the system is not user-friendly or intuitive to use. Rather you’ll be going back and forth with the manual and spending time and money on those training events.
But what’s different with SaaS? The idea used to be that people have to learn how to use the software. Today it’s very much the other way around. Now the software is built based on how people use it. The software adapts, not the user. SaaS providers offer software that is simple and beautiful and intuitive to use.
4. Run away if you doubt security
Some people argue that having the software on the company's data centre is safer than using cloud services. And admittedly, that used to be the case. But in today’s world, the cloud services are as safe or even safer than having the data in local servers. The technology has notably evolved. For SaaS providers, the cloud services are at the core of their operation. It is in their very most interest to have safe and secure cloud protection and continuously monitor possible risks. Most companies simply don’t have that level of expertise in-house.
But how does it work? Through the cloud services, the data is automatically placed in three separate servers which secure the information in case of a fire or other such threat to a single server. Companies wanting to have their own data centres encounter the challenge of having to place the servers physically in several different locations. And if they don’t do it, they definitely create a big risk to security.
5. Run away from long-term contracts
So you agreed to have a long-term contract with an old-fashioned software company. But what happens when time flies and you need updates? With the tailored software that no other company can alter basically the only option is to buy the update services from that same partner. And that brings up the price. If you dreamed of finding a new partner, the long-term contract might turn out to be an obstacle.
But how is SaaS different? Unlike those companies, SaaS providers continuously develop their tools and all the users get the benefits. The updates are directly uploaded to the cloud for all software users instead of sending them to specific company customers. In addition, the SaaS tools can still be tailored to every company’s needs. Customers should always have the right to change the provider and it should be fast and easy.
6. Run away from companies trying to do everything
There are companies that offer the whole palette. There are promises on how everything works so well and how one company can really master all the aspects of accounting, stock inventory or, let’s say CRM software. These companies don’t introduce the ability to integrate software from other producers.
But what are the benefits of integration? For modern software companies, integration feature is self-evident. They understand that it’s better to master one or two niche elements. That guarantees higher quality service and product for customers. The quality-price ratio is better and the buyer can integrate one specific software with other ones. Therefore, every company should choose the best modern software for accounting and the best one for stock inventory and so on, and require that they can all be integrated.
7. Run away from external data owners
Some companies are eager to have your data for themselves. There are companies that offer for instance the whole facility management package which includes the software and even the employees. The whole process is outsourced which might sound like a good idea first.
But does it matter, who owns the data? It does, very much. Imagine a situation where the partner company quit. They could take all the data with themselves, including the possibly sensitive information about the company. There’s nobody who wants to give that data away. There are different players even among the SaaS providers. It’s a real point of differentiation whether the provider co-owns the data or if they don’t.
Want to read more about the reasons why you should aim for the latest technology to gain competitive edge? Read our blog series about the VUCA framework. For a real-life example of how our mobile platform helped a company optimise their audit and inspection processes, read the Fortum case study.
We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.
By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.
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