Whether you are considering new software for your own business or for a client, think carefully before purchasing and installing it. In the race to have the newest technology, sometimes rushing headlong into buying new products can cause more trouble than its worth.
A word of warning: don’t suggest upgrading just because you competition or peers are (or your clients’ competition or peers). Getting a new system simply for bragging rights – “we have the latest and greatest software there is” can backfire big time, for many of the reasons listed below. In the worst case scenario, it may cause downtime, affecting a business’ reputation, costs, and ultimately, profit.
Cost of New Software
Buying a new system as soon as it’s launched can cost a bundle, especially if you are a small and struggling business.
While the cost of a simple upgrade instead of a whole new system may be less expensive, take a look at what you’re paying for. In some cases, the minor improvements in the upgrade don’t warrant shelling out the extra dough.
If you do decide to go with a whole new program, you may be surprised by hefty licensing costs that are significantly more than you paid when you set up your current system.
Not all software plays well with others, especially if you have added systems over a number of years.
Some of the newer programs won’t run on old operating systems, and some of your favorite and most useful existing programs may not run on the new operating system you have your eye on.
Another common reason to stick with the programs you already have is that new software may not run properly on your existing hardware, leading to problems printing and scanning, for example. You may have to invest newer hardware to support your new program, creating a snowball effect in your tech budget.
Surprising as it may seem, not all employees love technological change. Training staff on a new program requires time, especially if it is a radical departure from the system they have been using for years.
In addition to the challenge of finding time for staff training, businesses should be prepared for the possibility that staff members may be reluctant to learn a new system, and this can result in delays and ineffective implementation of the program.
Migrating Information to New Database
Adding a new system to your business also requires data migration, or moving your existing customer and business data from the old system to the new. Depending on how different your new system is from your old, this may require new formatting for the new system as well as migration. As with any project, the more steps that are involved, the more chances there are for error.
As technology changes constantly and upgrades and new systems are continuously being developed, every business will be faced with the decision of purchasing new systems at some point, but sometimes it’s cheaper and easier to keep what you have…..for now.