HR Technology

A Software Question That’s Hard to Answer: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

software

I’ve been in the software business for over 15 years now and I’ve seen first hand the trials that companies go through trying to find the right software solutions.

Often times we will see a company torn between investing in new software, or investing in training and upgrades for their current software. Usually it is easier for staff to convince management to purchase new tools and software than to get them to invest in the updating of current ones.

Now it’s important to disclose that we’ve lost and gained clients on both sides of that coin. The goal here isn’t to push my pretty amazing software, but rather to help companies make an informed decision when it comes to, “Should I stay or should I go?”

Do you know this about your software?

Management will often decide to go with new software rather than improving what they currently have. They are more prone to do this for a few reasons. When managers (especially new managers) aren’t knowledgeable about their software provider, they don’t know if:

  • The software can be tailored;
  • It is built to grow as the company grows;
  • Updates are available and how much they cost;
  • Their software provider provides ongoing training, and what about the costs associated with it?
  • The support team can or will help with all of these questions.

Who has time to figure all of this out, especially if they’re a new manager learning the ropes? Managers will take a look at their software, note that it may not be setup for current needs and no one is aware it can be modified, and purchase the next shiny new software to come along, but newer doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Making the right choice – and the right investment

If the software is truly outdated, and the provider doesn’t offer timely and relevant updates, you should tell your provider to kick rocks, but if the software has simply been neglected or not fully reviewed, that’s a whole new story.

The costs associated with choosing a whole new software program are well worth it if the current software simply isn’t cutting it. But if the software is properly reviewed and understood with the help of the provider, this can save a lot of time and resources.

Managing a budget is always a juggling act; if money can be saved by updating software, rather than investing in a whole new program, it’s worth looking into.

Implementing new software means finding the right provider, training everyone on the new system and all the costs that go along with it. Work with your staff and your provider before making the decision to break up with your software. And before you find yourself in this situation again, work out a budget and address software needs for ongoing training.

The time that it takes is well worth the investment in your employees and the organization.

Sean Pomeroy, CEO of Visibility Software, has worked in the Human Resources industry since he graduated from Radford University with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. After working in HR as a generalist for a government contracting company, he moved to the HR Technology arena and began assisting companies in the selection and implementation of HR software.
  • @thespidergap

    Great post, thanks for this Sean.

    As a software provider myself, I am often surprised at the number of solutions out there that don’t regularly update their software or provide quality support, yet their customers often stick by them and apply their own workarounds due to the effort of making the switch.

    Fortunately more and more tools/systems no longer require training as ease-of-use is built into the tools, so businesses can greatly reduce the cost of switching.

    Thanks again,

    Alexis