- 21 Aug, 2017
- Posted by: Harry Leak
- Category: General, Software
When building a house, isn’t it the foundations and the design that are the main basis of how good the structure will turn out? It is similar with modern day businesses when it comes to their choice of IT software and supporting IT infrastructure. Getting this right can be the make or break for a new business, and also requires constant development for more established organisations.
Why is it important?
I have come across many instances of archaic systems that may have been fit for purpose over 10 years ago but are now causing problems and preventing growth. These software applications can affect all areas of the business because they are often not as well integrated as they could be and with a fear of change and not knowing where to turn to, smaller businesses (in particular) can suffer from systems that are process heavy instead of being light and system automated.
These conditions often require more time and staff to achieve the company’s desired results. Having a solid integrated system that can span across sales through to service with greater levels of automation would require less staff, increase the company’s productivity, and could also bring significant savings that could be used for other projects.
Beware of bespoke software
It is all too common to find systems that have been fully developed from the ground up that meet all the requirements of a business. This is usually because they may have struggled in the past to find something off the shelf that will meet their unique complex needs, or they simply have not had the right solutions presented to them.
Bespoke software applications are not always the best kind to turn to and are very costly to procure, and in all cases, will cause security and support problems down the line. My recommended approach is to always explore off the shelf solutions that can be developed to meet your bespoke needs and you will have a secure and constantly updated platform which can be supported by alternative supplier if a partnership was to go bad.
How to approach it
Start by working through your current business processes and how each department operates using IT and software. Spend time mapping out these processes visually using a wall chart whilst speaking with key stakeholders for their help to understand what really happens day to day. Once you start to map these processes out, a picture will appear of how what happens when you receive a sales lead through to an order, an order to delivery and delivery to invoice etc. This will help you to find out where the current problems and issues occur and what your team believe would make a difference if improved. You can then start to identify what current software is the bottleneck for the business and start to look at better solutions to enhance what you do currently.
I enjoy helping businesses to find the right software to help them to become more efficient or effective whilst solving business issues and challenges along the way. If you are looking for a safe pair of hands to work with on your next CRM, ERP, Accounts or software project then get in touch.