Top 10 Items to Consider To Avoid Anxiety in Software Searches
We know! There are simply too many membership management and donor database software choices on the market today. The human brain is just not equipped to process an overload of information. And, having an abundance of software options for your nonprofit may actually cause anxiety.
When it comes to making decisions about procuring or upgrading technology, software selection anxiety can be an enormous issue. The more staff members who are involved, and the longer the process takes, the more negatively software selection can impact an organization. In our opinion, the key to avoiding software selection anxiety is to know what matters most, before beginning the buying process.
In other words, don’t go shopping without a clear list of priorities. That noted, here are the top 10 quick suggestions before you “google” your way to a new software option:
Know Your Business Functions: What exactly will this software be used for? Having a list of functions that the software must perform will limit the choices from the start. Ex. I need a system which will handle recurring drafting. I need a system which can handle Purchase Orders.
Is Scalability Important?: Look for software packages that can grow with the organization. If a big expansion is planned in the future, the software must be able to handle the changes.
Understand Your Key Performance Reports: What kinds of reports are needed to make informed decisions? New software must be able to create them.
How important is Security?: How sensitive is the data? Software must have adequate security features to meet the organization’s needs.
Does reliability matter?: Stability is important. Look for software with an excellent track record for reliability.
Who Needs to Use the system? Ease of Use and knowing how many people will be using the system is important. Therefore, take this into account when assessing software. If only a handful of technologically savvy staff will use the software, that’s one thing. But if every staff member and volunteer will be using it, then the interface needs to be easy to learn and easy to use.
Where do users reside? Will this software reside on a few workstations in one location, or will staff members need access from anywhere? Cloud based systems are the norm today but there are still systems which are not!
What is a realistic budget? How much can the organization afford? Calculations should include any hardware upgrades that will be needed to run the software (if applicable). Once there is a firm budget number, this could narrow the choices considerably. You need to have a good starting point.
Any recommendations?: Consult with other organizations that have similar needs. Go to a review site laser focused on the type of software you are searching for like ReviewMyAMS.com. With this information, you will benefit from your peers who may have been through the same process recently and have useful information to share.
Do you need expert Advice? Seek counsel from a software adviser who can help sort through the noise and act as your guide through the process.
Is software selection anxiety impacting your organization? If so, please contact us to find out how we can help or schedule a call now for our “Free Software Advisement” offer by clicking the Learn More button below.