Daily Tip: Choosing a Software Platform

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A lot of apps promise to “disrupt” our lives in a positive way, and for every over-hyped piece of software that fails to gain any marketplace traction, there always seems to be one or two that might actually change how we communicate, schedule, and work. But how to determine which app might prove useful for your business, versus a piece of junk you’ll have to replace after a year because it fails to meet your needs?

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Support: A lot of software fails to meet a minimum bar for quick and effective support. Make sure you have a guarantee for help in case your platform fails on you.

Licensing: Some platforms are outrageously expensive… and don’t give you a whole lot in return. Others place tight constraints on commercial use, perhaps making it difficult to get work done. Before deciding on a particular bit of software, check that the licensing (and cost) fit your current and future needs.

History: Is the app brand new, or does it have a history extending back years (if not decades)? If the latter, it has a community and substantial documentation. If the former, you might end up becoming an inadvertent bug tester.

Future: Does the company behind the software have a road map? Can you expect to see new features and improvements in both the near and long term? Make sure there’s a plan in place.

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