A few months ago, a friend contacted me to ask for some recommendations related to his company. He intended to “modernize” his sales department and was convinced that the first step he should take was to change his current CRM software.
After doing some research, and realizing that there were solutions that offered far more features than his current CRM, he was certain that the switch was the right decision. He wanted just to get my opinion about which specific solution was best for his organization.
I then invited him to discuss his company’s current situation so I could advise him accordingly. However, the meeting did not end as he expected.
Based on our conversation, he determined that the total cost of migrating was very high, that the change would take more time than he anticipated and that his current CRM was, in fact, working. Well, that is, it fulfilled the required processes, and his team seemed comfortable using it.
In conclusion, the investment was likely to be much bigger than the gain. Can you imagine the impact that the unnecessary acquisition of this new software would have had on his company?
Software has become a vital part of successful and competitive businesses; upgrading and acquiring new systems is now a common priority in almost every industry.
In fact, according to Gartner, global IT investment is expected to increase by 2020 with a projected growth of 3.7%, mainly due to spending on business software. However, while this is a very good thing, the decision to make such changes must be well grounded and based on clear ROIs and strategic business requirements.
If you are thinking of migrating to a new system, here are some important factors to consider:
1. Total Cost
One of the most important things you should do when deciding whether or not to change software is to accurately calculate the total cost of the switch. The expenses associated with data migration, knowledge transfer, maintenance and upgrades can have a large impact on the business in the long run and can even cause future abandonment of the solution because it is not affordable.
In addition to considering prices and licensing, ask yourself the following questions before you make a decision:
• Is the tool so complex that you will have to hire and train new talent to use it?
• Is it necessary to invest in hardware and, in general, new infrastructure?
• Will you have to hire specialized consultants to customize your software?
• How much time and money will data migration cost?
• Will it perform the functions of your current solution, or will you have to invest in another application to carry out certain processes?
These are just some of the factors you should consider when calculating the Return on Investment and total cost of a new tool.
Cybersecurity has become one of the most concerning issues for companies — something quite normal considering the dizzying increase of cyberattacks we have witnessed in the last decade.
If your software is so old that it no longer benefits from support, updates or patches, there is no doubt that you must make a change. Any of the solutions, the one you’re considering or the current one, must meet certain basic security requirements, among which are:
• A strict protocol for identification and passwords with a limited number of login attempts.
• Data encryption and secure storage.
• Advanced permission control.
Additionally, in case the software is stored in the cloud, you should ask the provider where your data is hosted and how it is treated. If you choose an on-premise solution, you must ensure that you have all the necessary resources to protect the physical access to your sensitive information.
All companies must adhere to policies that ensure compliance related to customer data processing, money laundering prevention and corporate responsibility.
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in companies facing lawsuits or being penalized with large fines. In some cases, the penalties are so high that they may even jeopardize the economic stability of the company.
Your software should then allow you to comply with internal and external legislation. Ask your provider if its software adheres to the standards that regulate your business.
Some years ago, integrating software with other applications was too costly. Today, manufacturers have managed to simplify this process and make it more cost-effective. However, despite the efforts, some solutions may have certain limitations.
So, try to check if the tool you will be working with for the next few years can be integrated with other key applications for your business.
Your current software may lack some important features, but it is possible that, through integration with other tools, you can meet those existing requirements without having to completely migrate your data to another system.
5. Support For Current And Future Business Processes
You may be making the decision to switch your software based on what your company needs now, but while this is fine, another factor to consider is your long-term vision for your company.
Before making a final decision, ask yourself, “How does this change advance my organization toward the completion of my KPIs? Will this software be able to grow with my company and support my processes in the years to come?”
Keep your eyes on the prize. Take the time to evaluate if the software solution you are considering choosing has the capability to meet the vision of your business.
In conclusion, whether you decide to continue working with your current software or not, the results will be positive for your business, as you analyze the possible outcomes of your decision from different perspectives.
Software platforms are critical components for companies; they can either accelerate your growth or slow down processes and demotivate users, depending on whether you choose well or not. Take your time and don’t hesitate to consult experts to base your decision on the actual needs of your business.