Phil Hearn: Blogger, Writer & Founder of MRDC Software Ltd.

The 7 Step Software Evaluation Approach

My company is both of a user of several software packages and a vendor of software packages. Whilst I have worked in the marketing and market research sectors for many years, I think this 7 Step Software Evaluation Approach works in any market. Carrying out effective software evaluations is important so that good business decisions are made.

It’s a business decision

Buying new software or changing software is a business decision. It should be approached just like any other business decision.

  • What is the cost benefit to the business? This is not the same as just finding out the cost of the software. It means looking at the increased revenue (if any), the costs, changes in staffing, training costs as well as the cost of the software itself.
  • What are the anticipated benefits of the software? It really is worth documenting these before you start any trials.
  • What are the problems that the software might bring? This might include moving projects or data to a new system, training staff, the need for short term support.

The 7 Step Software Evaluation Approach

Most software suppliers allow a trial of their software – either for a limited period or with some limitations that make the product non-commercial. However, testing, evaluation and implementation take time, so it’s important to ensure you have planned enough time before starting. A half-hearted software trial is likely to be a waste of time or an expensive mistake if a bad choice is made.

Ready to buy?

If it still looks like a good business decision, you are probably ready to buy the right software package for your company.

Need help?

I’m always willing to help you make the right business decisions when buying software. I work mainly in the marketing and market research businesses but have worked for a number of SMEs helping to choose the right software. My contact details are below.