Businesses are not shy about using SaaS software to serve their needs in the workplace. The average business has around 254 SaaS subscription apps at its disposal. It’s a shock, then, to learn that they also only use about 45% of those apps. Your company will spend a lot of time picking a software partner. In a world oversaturated by SaaS, there’s a good chance you may end up like the companies above. That’s where we come in to help.
Read on as we discuss what things you should be on the lookout for as you break bread with a software partner.
Picking a Software Partner Is Best If They Have Regular Software Updates
You already have dozens of applications vying for your attention with notifications. While you may look forward to most of these notifications, there is one we know you hate: update notifications.
Updates are the one thing no one wants to deal with. They make your device inaccessible while you twiddle your thumbs for long minutes. And if you don’t heed them immediately, they begin to get more aggressive.
The Importance of Software Updates
There is a reason for this persistence on the part of the software updates. Simply put, this is how developers ensure you have maximum security. As the saying goes in the cyber security industry: it’s not if they hack you, but when.
If there is a door, hackers can open it. No program is perfect. Every system and bit of software running on it has exploits that hackers can use to break in.
This is a never-ending game, with hackers discovering new exploits every year. The best developers can do is to seal off these breaches once they discover them. And that’s what the updates are doing.
Updates are so persistent because they often include critical patches for new vulnerabilities and bug fixes. It’s essential that you update sooner rather than later. The longer you wait until updating, the more time hackers have to compromise you.
Choose a Company That Provides Regular Software Updates
Do not work with a company that does not update its software on a regular basis. This is non-negotiable. Critical company or consumer data is at risk when the software is riddled with vulnerabilities.
These updates should be on a semi-regular basis, at least once per month. Avoid companies that make a ton of vapid feature updates. These should be hard bug fixes that patch vulnerabilities.
Look for High Encryption Standards
Encryption has now become a mainstay in computing. It’s one of those things that you use on a daily basis without realizing it. Encryption keeps sensitive data safe, especially when sending it on the Internet.
Software should use end-to-end encryption when transferring data over any non-local connection. Backups should be encrypted. There is no such thing as too much encryption at the end of the day.
Prioritize Innovative Business Software Features
Many developers flood you with frequent feature updates that lack substance. These are updates for the sake of updates and for no other purpose. Avoid these sorts of software partners.
Instead, look for partners that provide meaningful updates. These are updates that provide real use and solve problems you’ve struggled with. These are not updates to the logos or ultimately useless customization.
For example, a field service management suite should provide better ways to integrate your operations, not just a flashy new UI (user interface).
Pay Attention When Reading Online Reviews
Online reviews are often the first place people go to when evaluating a new product. It’s a great place to vet your options for software partners before you commit. However, know how to read online reviews effectively.
There are many companies out there that will produce fake reviews for their products. That, or they will pay customers to change negative reviews to five stars. This makes it difficult to tell if the rating they have is earned or not.
Further, speak to industry professionals that have actually used the software. If they have had a negative experience, you may have just dodged a bullet.
Ask around in your industry, since most software partners have a reputation in your industry–good or bad. You may just discover that you can’t trust a company after all.
Be Judicious When Comparing Software Costs
Gone are the days when the software would have a one-time price with a lifetime license. These days, software functions on a rolling release. You pay for access on a monthly or yearly basis, and you lose access as soon as you cancel your subscription.
The pricing model for some of these companies can take a considerable bite out of your budget. So before you take down a subscription, consider your options.
It’s easy to take the bait of the company’s advertising when evaluating the pricing models. You may be tempted to go big with the expensive, top-tier pricing option. It provides so many features, many of which you may feel you need.
But upon closer inspection, you will quickly realize that this need is fabricated. In the majority of cases, the base or middle tier is more than enough for your purposes. You can save a lot of money by downgrading instead of letting them upsell you.
Find the Right Software Partner for You Today
Picking a software partner is tricky business when you have so many options, all of them riddled with caveats. Focus on software security and experience, particularly how much they update. Then contemplate the pricing model as well as how well the company performs in online reviews. Visit our blog for more useful business guides.