We all depend on software to get things done. This is especially true for businesses, with some relying on upwards of 91 cloud service applications per department – and with most of those not even certified as being “enterprise ready”. So even though a business may rely on these applications to handle day-to-day business operations, they can easily do more harm than good – and ultimately severely slow down your workflow processes.
And with only 37% of CIOs believing that most of their applications are business critical, it’s not hard to imagine that a large number of businesses are using too many applications that don’t serve their business needs. The bottom line: improperly acquired, deployed, and managed software can lead to significant workflow problems.
So why is this the case? How does software intended to improve workflow automation and bolster digital transformation end up having the reverse effect? Let’s take a look at five ways software can interfere with your business processes.
1. The Software is Outdated
Outdated software is rampant. A survey of over 100 million AVG users found that 52% of the most commonly-used programs aren’t being kept up to date.
This is problematic for several reasons. For one, non-updated software can cause system and network incompatibilities that prevent it from working properly. Older applications can suffer from serious lags, crashes, and overall performance deterioration. In turn, this leads to lost time and productivity caused by system resets/restores and potential data loss.
Most software vendors will typically end their support for outdated software. Your IT personnel won’t have access to updates and critical patches, and may have to resort to spending time manually configuring these applications to work with your existing technology.
But perhaps more importantly, older software can leave you open to serious security threats. Java, for instance, contains hundreds of known security vulnerabilities within its code, and legacy Java-based programs that no longer issue updates can leave the user exposed.
2. The Software Isn’t Aligned With Your Needs
In 1999, candy and chocolate giant Hershey’s implemented a new supply chain and distribution software system with disastrous results. Because they had selected a vendor and software suite without properly determining whether or not it would suit their needs, problems and glitches eventually cost the company approximately $100 million in losses.
With so many software options available, it’s easy to get sidetracked by factors such as price, brand, or features. Did you select the product because it was cheaper? Did it offer added features that, while useful, don’t actually add any value?
To ensure that your software choice doesn’t impact your workflow management, start with a careful analysis of your business goals and select the option that best supports the processes to get you there.
3. The Software Lacks Training Resources
Even though an application may be the ideal solution for handling specific tasks, it won’t be of much use if it isn’t used. This is particularly the case with software that has a high learning curve. If it doesn’t provide access to sufficient user support and training resources, you may find that your employees will either resort to bypassing it completely or see their efficiency drop thanks to improper usage.
4. The Software Doesn’t Bridge Process Gaps
Applications are typically designed to handle specific tasks. While this isn’t a problem in itself, it can lead to issues where users have to constantly jump between separate applications to do their work. These gaps not only have a negative impact on process management, they can also reduce efficiency and increase the likelihood of human errors.
That’s why it’s important to look at your existing workflows and identify software solutions that support as many of them as possible, from end-to-end.
5. The Software Doesn’t Provide Value
Finally, does your software provide demonstrable value to your organization by improving user efficiency? With new software options coming out all the time, it’s easy to keep using software that no longer serves your need but stays in place because of user and organizational familiarity.
You may have been using Software X for the past five years, but shifting business priorities are starting to render it unnecessary. That’s why it’s critically important that you evaluate your software inventory regularly and determine whether it’s still the best choice for your day-to-day operations, or if it should be replaced.
Ensure Your Software Supports Your Workflows and Processes
Relying on software that’s outdated, inefficient, or no longer supports your business needs can have an adverse affect on your business workflows and processes. Whether you opt for commercial or custom-developed software, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and doesn’t cause bottlenecks in your operational efficiency.
Not sure if your software is right for your business? Or are you looking to learn more about how you can modernize your software to improve your business? Contact us today to learn how JIG Technologies can help with all your software needs.