There were lots of reasons we got into software, by far the biggest was because most software sucked. If you are looking into software at the moment, keep an eye out for these 10 warning signs.
No way to try before you buy
Not being able to try before you buy is a big warning sign for the next 3 points. The ability to use a trial version or even trial the complete product is common practice in modern software. It is also an absolute necessity in a solution evaluation process.
Hidden or “Call Us” predatory pricing
If you walked into a bricks and mortar shop and nothing had a price tag you would be inclined to walk out. The same should go while you are browsing for a rostering solution.
Set-up fee’s and contracts
Unless your needs are really custom or you are in a real hurry, there should be no need for a set-up fee. Long term contracts are also a joke. I wouldn’t sign anything over a month until I was really happy with the software.
Headache to set-up and operate
can be a complex problem but the reality for most people is they are looking for an Excel replacement, and a spreadsheet is not tricky to setup. If software takes several in-person training sessions, it is already too complex in our books. Everything you need to know should be found in setup videos, a easy to navigate training manual or in a couple of quick phone calls.
Terrible or non-existent support
Many software companies are extremely ‘sales heavy’ organisations and there is next to no-one who is around to help you day-to-day once the money has changed hands. Great software should be simple and sell itself. Anyone who picks up the phone should be able to answer your questions. You also need to make sure there is someone there to pick up the phone!
Slow buggy software
Even if you have found what looks like the software of your dreams, it is useless if it doesn’t run quickly and without error. This is another reason it is imperative to get your hands on the software, instead of being sold on features by a sales person or in an edited video.
Not based in the cloud
The future of software is cloud based. This means no downloads, no problems if you are on a Mac or PC and accessibility from anywhere with the internet via your web browser. It also means you don’t need to worry about security, updates or backups.
No login area
If your are able to make time-off request, participate in discussions and ponder over ‘who they are working with’ from home, you are not only going to save yourself money (face it, they used to do all these things ‘on the clock’), you will make them happier.
Lack of integration
Building walls and ‘complete’ solutions is an age old trick used to trap you into a specific software application. When evaluating software, always check their import / export options in-case your want to integrate with an existing process or swap systems one day. Good software providers should not be concerned.
Never updated or improved!
There are always better ways to do things, more problems to tackle and new technologies to work with. Find out what your software provider has been working on and plans to roll out in the upcoming months.