In the business world, keeping up to date on the latest technologies or products is key to earning success and maintaining it. If you currently use a server-based software, you probably get periodic updates from your software provider that, when you have the time, you dutifully upload to your computer. You probably don’t even realize what they are for because that takes even more of your valuable time to read and figure out, but the software designer says it is important to update to the latest version, so you eventually do it.
While you may really like your current software platform, the process to upgrade your software may seem clunky, and you may wonder whether it’s time for a software switch.
That thought is probably challenging because you expect a move of this nature to involve a data migration from one platform to another, plus ramp-up time for you and your staff as you learn a brand new way of doing things. That’s time and energy you know you can’t afford to waste.
And yet, the idea of a new software platform can be quite exciting, because you know having a great new tool will help you run your business in a much more efficient way to eradicate errors, save time, and improve the customer experience.
But how do you know it’s time for a change? Here are three signs to watch for.
1) Your server may be on its last legs
You may really like your server-based software, as it seems to be everything your business needs. But what about all those unusual noises you hear from your computer system? Or the sometimes slow, sluggish way the computer reacts to your mouse clicks, or the strange error signals? If one or more of these problems occur even once, then you should evaluate your software platform server and determine if it’s time to switch to a faster cloud-based software platform.
If you switch to a cloud-based platform, all you need is a good Internet connection to ensure your office computers, laptops and tablets can access the software. No slow servers required!
2) It’s a bother to keep up with updates
Despite the need to keep up with system updates, they are actually quite important for protecting your computer system from viruses and malware attacks and improving the software’s functionality. That, in turn, helps keep your business running smoothly.
One problem to watch for is the infrequency of software updates. You might be delighted, but it could indicate that the software provider isn’t keeping up with all the updates that should be performed. Or, worse, the software provider could have stopped supporting the software, in which case it’s definitely time to switch platforms!
On the other hand, there’s the problem of getting too many server-based software updates. It’s not like you can update the system during work hours, because that will disrupt the work day of both you and your employees. And what happens if the update causes standard functions to work differently? That’s a recipe for team confusion.
If it’s a bother to keep up with updates, consider switching to a cloud-based software platform where the updates happen in the background, without you having to monitor them.
3) Your practice has outgrown your current system
Nobody likes growing old, including your server-based software platform.
Sure, your server-based system may have served you well, even growing with your business as it offered new features and modules to add and use. But what if your business grows beyond the capabilities of your software? What happens if you open a new location that needs to link to your original location? What if your customer base outgrows the capacity of your software? What if you begin to offer new services, like rental, that become difficult to track and maintain in your system?
It’s time to shop around.
Create a list of everything you wish your software could do and prioritize those items into three categories: must-have, nice-to-have, and not-really-that-important.
Then, Choose the Right Partner
When searching for the best cloud-base software solution, keep in mind that choosing the right partner is just as important as choosing the right platform.
That partner is the company that will not just send update notifications to support the software, but will also offer you tech support when questions or issues arise. You need to have a partner available to help you when you need it.
Software companies should be committed to maintaining their software via updates, provide great customer support, and have a reputation for trust.
Despite the fears and reluctance to change software platforms, it can be a necessity for some growing businesses. Embrace the need for change when it’s time, because the benefits far outweigh the challenges.