Technology has played a major role in shaping the present-day business environment. Companies of all shapes and sizes are turning to new technologies and platforms to streamline their core processes and overcome roadblocks.
However, business leaders need to conduct a thorough analysis of their current challenges and how a software solution will solve them. Enterprise software enhances business processes and makes them more efficient. While there are considerable benefits of deploying software, you need to evaluate and distinguish your software needs from what software wants.
A lot of companies opt for a software solution that does not meet their expectations. Lack of research coupled with insufficient need vs want analysis is the two main factors that lead to bad decisions making while choosing software.
When you conduct a business needs analysis, you will have a better idea of your business requirements and how technology can fill the gaps.
If you invest enough time in research to find an ideal software, you will not be tempted to keep switching to other alternatives.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the most effective ways to assess your business needs and wants.
Conduct a SWOT analysis to find answered related to your business
If you are unclear about how to go about your business analysis, a SWOT analysis is a good idea. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The best way to conduct an effective SWOT analysis primarily depends on your ability to find answers to the most critical questions.
SWOT – Software Requirements vs Software Wants
- In what areas does your team excel?
- What is your company’s USP? What are you doing differently than your competitors?
- What are the untapped opportunities your company has not yet capitalized on?
- How can you expand your business in other markets?
- Which processes take most of your time? What can you do to make them more efficient?
- What factors are hindering your team’s productivity
Although a SWOT analysis does not require more than one individual, it is advisable to conduct the same in a group for the best results. You can pick out leaders from different departments that will use the software to get a holistic outlook of your business.
Understand the past, present, and future of your business
When you try to understand where your business came from, where it is currently, and the path it’s likely to take, it will help you in your business needs analysis.
Utilize past information to shape the present
Even if you are a young business or a startup, you should be aware of the industry’s history. For example, the automotive industry has transformed rapidly over the past few decades.
To give you a better idea, Bertha Benz, wife of Karl Benz was the first-ever long-range car traveler recorded in history (1888). Fast forward to 2021, some automotive companies are also rolling out self-driven cars that are powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Businesses across different industrial domains need to adapt to the current trends and opportunities to fulfill customer expectations. Can you imagine a world where there are no cars? The answer to this question is probably no.
Study the current scenario
At the moment, businesses are focussing on getting back on their feet after the onslaught of the pandemic. For example, due to stringent government regulations, safety measures, and other factors, companies, especially in the tech space turned to remote working during the pandemic.
Although many believed that remote working was a temporary solution, now the scenario has changed completely. A lot of companies from around the world have adopted remote working even after the world is returning to normal.
Even employees are in favor of hybrid working as it offers them the flexibility of working from home and their workspace. As businesses reflect on what is going on in their industry, they are finding solutions to the most critical issues.
Leverage past and present knowledge to create a bright future
The pandemic has taught us a very valuable lesson – it is impossible to predict the future. However, that should not stop us from equipping ourselves to face unforeseen challenges.
Study trends that can transform your industry
Keep an eye out for current as well as futuristic trends in your industry. If you are evaluating your business, you need to have enough information about both.
Very often, trends are shaped by technology. For instance, the onset of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, virtual reality, are some of the emerging technologies that are expected to take over in the near future.
The rapidly expanding practical applications of AI across different industries is a testament to the impact new technologies can make.
Define your priority
SWOT analysis and similar strategies may bring forward an array of areas that could improve with new software. At this stage, you should prioritize choosing the right software that fits your budget.
There are different prioritization techniques that provide a clear idea of what your business needs based on effort and impact. Businesses should focus on high impact and low effort requirements to get started. In most cases, high effort and low impact requirements may not be very critical.
When you define your priority, the next step is to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page and then choose the most suitable software.
Getting through with a project that primarily focuses on choosing the right software can be intimidating. One of the main challenges in this endeavor is to put a finger on the key features of the software. You should not get swayed by the ‘nice to have features’ and instead focus on what is the need of the hour.
There are many tools that come with a free trial. You can try and test different solutions before you select the right solution for your business. It is also important to understand the importance of testing in the current IT environment.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how to go about choosing the right software, it is time to take the right steps.