You have chosen to get new software for your company, great! Most of the HSEQ and other B2B software come in multiple plans and add-ons, which together can be called modules and now you need to figure out how to choose the right modules and vendor to match your needs, and that can be a hard situation to be in if you want to make sure to get it right the first time.
So to help you on the right path, we have created this blog post to make the decision and thoughts around it a little easier for you.
Finding the Modules
Granted, you have identified a problem and have an idea of what you are looking for at this point, but you want to make sure that the software you choose will actually be used by people in your organisation, and that it becomes an essential tool to ensure success in the area(s) you are implementing it for.
We call this software democratisation.
The definition of democratised software is a software which has become a cornerstone to the organisation and is used throughout the entire organisation to some degree. Some like to call this engagement and others adoption, but to fine it down to getting all users aboard, we have decided to go with democratisation.
Examples of software that have become democratised are Business Intelligence and document management software. They were both software that were either used just by specific functions of an organisation or different departments had their own specific solutions, but later became implemented for the wider organisation globally as the information from them came to be needed for more areas and functions.
Choosing a software that can become democratised by your organisation is crucial in the world we live in now where VUCA is dominating. Information about different areas of the organisation is needed in a higher demand than it used to be, and this is a trend that seems to continue as the business landscape develops and introduces new competitors, factors and conditions for business growth.
So what are the factors you need to consider when choosing software modules? We have created a matrix with 4 buckets inside of which the impact and reach of software in an organisation can be qualified. Our matrix quite similar to the infamous BCG growth share matrix, with “Reach” being how many users are using the software, and “Impact” being how frequently the software is being used. As for the 4 buckets inside the matrix, we have defined them by the usage of the software; “Specialists”, “Cornerstones”, “Necessities” and “Gambles”.
The Reach-Impact Software Module Matrix.
Deciding Factors and System Qualifications
To better understand what makes a software democratised you can consider software and their modules in 4 different buckets;
The software is only used by a specific function or area of your organisation but it is used on a daily basis. If your software is here a good idea could be to see if it could be implemented in other areas of your organisation going forward and thus increase the reach of it.
Examples of software in this bucket could be reporting software that was bought for a specific function or area, and doesn’t currently serve a purpose to be used by more parts of the organisation. Another example is CRM software that is a mandatory requirement nowadays for any sales department.
The software is used by multiple areas of the organisation or perhaps even by the entire organisation. Examples of software that is used like this is email, but also an internal communication tool such as Slack, Flowdock or Microsoft Teams. Cornerstones are software that typically form the core of the IT department and they are also the platforms that Specialists and Necessities need to integrate with.
The software is a needed tool to have and solves a very specific problem but is only used by very few individuals and not so often either. This doesn’t make these tools any less valuable and there’s a good reason why many companies focus on serving their customers with necessity software. There’s less competition but still a clear and quantifiable problem to be solved in the market. I know this for a reason our history is with a necessity software called Pelsu, that was acquired by Caverion in the fall of 2019.
Nobody plans to implement a Gamble software where reach is high and usage is low. But what too often happens is that a software was implemented globally throughout the organisation but staff end up not relying on it to perform well or have other problems with it. Typically, these kinds of software are implemented with a specific purpose in mind. E.g. a company wants to switch their internal communications away from WhatsApp due to IT security reasons, so they choose to invest in Microsoft teams where they manage projects, meetings and more inside the organisation besides internal communication. However, the overall consensus of the personnel isn’t to switch to Teams, and they continue to use WhatsApp as their main channel of communications. Teams becomes a gamble software as it isn’t being used for its purpose and the company is still paying for the licenses.
The aforementioned story by the way happened to one of our customers and it also serves a purpose to remind that each software needs to be implemented with structured onboarding and effective communication. Even better is to carefully implement them in phases if the company desires to get the biggest ROI on the investment.
Choosing the right software modules
So how do you make sure that you choose the right software for your organisation’s needs?
- First you need to look at your internal organisation instead of the tools.
- Consider what you want to achieve with the new tool.
- Who will you be engaging to use it?
- How often will it be used? Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.?
- Check if the tool can be used in multiple parts of your organisation, if yes then map it out in the matrix (above). If it seems to be a cornerstone then try to start the usage of it small, then expand and unify globally to ensure the best implementation and introduction of the tool.
Getting the right modules for your function’s, and organisation’s needs is essential to succeed. It’s recommended that you look at how the software you choose can be implemented for different functions and uses in the organisation before you choose to invest. Map out the use of the software in your organisation and consider who will be using it, in that way you can ensure a successful implementation.
In our next blog post we will cover how different software moves between different use phases and how you can identify what phase your software might be in.
We provide our customers with software and modules that help them to optimise their daily reporting and communications of incidents and observations.
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We're a tech company with a passion for helping our customers adapt to the fast changing VUCA world. We're doing that by developing easy-to-use SaaS products that make gathering, managing and analysing field information as easy as possible for the end users. Remove gatekeepers, go horizontal and learn from your mistakes before they actually happen. More info at planbrothers.io.