With an increasing number of IT products, services and suppliers available to help transform your business, choosing the right ones to meet your needs can be overwhelming.
Read 10 points to consider before you choose a new technology supplier
- A good starting point is to ask yourself what it is you want to do. For example, do you want to make it easier for customers to buy your products, or do your staff need to work more effectively off site?
- Map out your goals and outline the processes that drive your business so you can start to clarify your requirements (and make sure you don’t miss anything important out).
- The next step is to explore which technologies will help you meet your needs. We recommend conducting online research and paying close attention to customer reviews. Most of all, ask other businesses you know and trust for their experiences.
- While costs, support and quality are still essential considerations, it is your technology choices that sit around the Superfast Broadband provision that will transform your business. So, compare prices, service level agreements, and coverage.
- Consider Cloud based solutions that have manageable monthly payments and automatic upgrades. They provide significant advantages for a growing business as you are able to transfer the cost of a new system from capital expenditure to recurrent operational expenditure.
- Your starting point should be off the shelf packages, which offer excellent value for money if you only require simple, standard business functions such as office processes, stock control, accounts or payroll.
- Don’t forget to check whether your technology choice is compatible with all the devices you use now or plan to use in the future. And also check if your current (and planned future) software integrates into a single compatible system.
- Make sure Service Level Agreements cover all your needs and no more. For example, check that you’re not paying for support you don’t need, and check whether your training needs are covered in the implementation cost or will be charged separately.
- Always find out how long you’ll be tied into an agreement or if there are exit penalties as most software providers have a number of different payment plans.
- Lastly, check whether there will be a development freeze which will mean your technology choice will no longer be supported after a certain date.
If you're looking for more advice on software and technology providers, download the free Superfast Business Wales Software Directory.
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