6 Important Questions to Ask Before Buying Software

So, are you planning to buy software to run your business? Well, it’s a sensible decision to stay competitive in the marketplace and have the edge over opponents. However, you have to be careful as going with the first software vendor you talk to or trusting some recommendation blindfolded can do more harms that gains. After all, you’d put a lot of hope on the software besides parting ways with a good slice of your hard-earned money. The software you plan to buy must support the cause of the business and help you realize its true potential.

Good software are supposed to help you or your business at many levels including –

  • The software should be loaded with all standard features required for the domain
  • It should support in running of the business and add value in proportion to price
  • Business operations should be easy considering the investment done with the software
  • The business much get the support and edge of technology
  • A competitive edge has to be imparted so that the business can grow on the expected lines
  • And above all, the ROI (return on investment) should be on the expected lines

Quite clearly, the software has to do a lot of good work to justify the purpose of being bought in the first place. For that to happen, you need to first be sure of whether the product has what it takes to support the business. Which is only possible when you get some doubts or questions answered before taking the final call.

Here are 6 important questions to ask before buying the software –

1#    Does the software have the niche-specific features? 

Since you are in search for software to support the business, there has to features fit for the domain or niche. For that, you have to create a checklist of those standard features or functionalities and then match with the offered ones. Ask the vendor whether these features are fitted into the product and if not, focus on other options in the market. Make sure to buy only the product that has what it takes to help the business in all aspects.

2#    Will there be a fee for contracts and tech support?    

Never ever buy software that has clause to continue paying for some duration despite not using the product. Monthly support fees are justified but till only the product is used, not and never when it’s discontinued. Similarly, you have to be sure of fees charged for tech and hardware support; you need to know whether support fees is charged monthly or yearly or not charged at all. Other questions may be whether hardware support extends to software one and so on.

3#   Are version upgrades free?

Software do have version updates on a regular basis. This is done to either patch up any flaws or add more features or functionalities to the product. Clearly, upgrades will be needed for your business as well, should you go with the software. With web software, you get upgraded or updated almost instantly but the same does not happen with those installed on the system. In such cases, you will have to rely on the vendor to get upgraded to the newest version, hence the question in this regard becomes important.

4#    What will be data backup strategy? 

Data have a huge role to play in running a business successfully. It’s the data you will leverage to add value to every aspect, whether customer interactions or sales. So, it makes sense to ask the software vendor about the data back-up strategy available with the product. You need to be sure of the safety and security of the data for cases related to virus attack or sudden hardware or software failure or some malfunction etc. Before getting the software, you need to be sure how the data will be backed up and the cost involved with the process.

5#   Will it offer single or multi-location support?  

Any business will obviously try to grow and expand its base further into different locations across the world. Some click while some not but the zest and desire to succeed will be there for all entities. That’s why, businesses have to plan for the future and this should be considered in buying software. So, ask the vendor whether the software will support business operations for multiple locations or not.

6#    Should you pay terminal or location wise? 

This question whether a business should pay for software based on terminal or location is very significant. After all, the number of terminals can go up per location but costs with product design software should not shoot up in that ratio. If you are charged per terminal, mind it, it can add up to total costs of operations. Which is never a good thing to have for the business for sure.

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