Frequently we are asked about new software purchases. These questions range from the simplicity of, “Should I install Vista on our PCs?” to far more involved questions about major installations of very expensive software. It is important to ask our own questions before giving a quick answer:
- Is your current software system doing an adequate job for you?
- Does everyone who uses the current system understand it well and do they take advantage of all the systems features?
- Is there any compelling reason for a change now?
After reading these questions, I think you can see where I’m going. Often people are seeking change for the sake of change. Perhaps they just finished an article on a new system, or had their local software rep stop in for a visit. If you have done a decent job of choosing and using software in the past, chances are you do not need to make a systems change now.
Instead of writing a large software check in a difficult economy, consider dusting off the software manual or summon your rep back to answer a few questions about the existing system he sold you several years ago. I suspect you have a trove of features that you simply aren’t using. Often we install software trying to learn how to handle the basics with the good intention of returning to it at a later date to harvest the other features….and, you guessed it….we never did.
Sure, the new package is probably laden with new bells and whistles the rep has demoed for you, but do you really need them? Now?
A simple rule of thumb. If the current system is working well for you, check to be sure you have installed all the available upgrades (an inexpensive way to upgrade the system) and, most importantly, evaluate if you are using all the systems features. If you are like the vast majority, you are not getting everything your existing software was designed to provide, and a migration to a new system would only offer modest efficiencies and gains…not worth the investment in time or money.