Processes to Get More Use & ROI from New Apps
Although the digital age has brought us many marvels, including software technologies that provide new levels of efficiency and effectiveness, it still requires that companies implement these technologies in a thoughtful and deliberate manner to fully reap the benefits.
More precisely, to maximize the ROI you get form new software applications, companies should follow a handful of best practices to leverage technology's immense power. That's why we've created a mini-guide for you:
New software applications must follow a cadence that includes proper planning and training, as well as creating and adhering to that processes that integrate the technology into the business.
To make the process as effective as possible, we're sharing four tips that can significantly increase the speed of your development, improve the effectiveness of your software, enhance ongoing application improvements, and maximize the long-term value and impact of the application itself.
These benefits together will take your application from simply serving a function in your business, to becoming a true business asset. Anything short of this is simply impeding your company's (especially your IT's) potential.
Much of the success afforded by new software applications occurs before the software is even deployed. First and foremost, sufficient due diligence is required to make sure the application is the most appropriate solution given your organization's specific demands and goals.
Furthermore, version control and change management procedures are critical in maintaining the integrity of existing data and systems (to minimize exposure to downtime and disruptions).
Every moment you spend offline works directly against ROI. Effective process integration is vital in maximizing ROI from a new application, both during deployment and into the future.
Working simultaneously with the process integration procedures, lifecycle planning is another forward-looking exercise that can help you realize as much ROI as possible with your new application.
By taking a look down the road and estimating future costs--including integration costs, training, licensing, maintenance, and customization needs--while estimating overall utility and projected lifespan, you will gain a good idea of what the returns must be in order to reach your business goals.
Of course, software applications are only as beneficial as they are useful. Investing substantial resources into new applications does little good if your team isn't capable of using them to their fullest abilities. In fact, insufficient training on new software can have a spillover effect on other operations as team members attempt to maintain productivity while struggling with new software.
The added stress can impact team morale, creating a cascading effect on ROI that starts with the new software but quickly spreads to other tasks, responsibilities, and systems.
Initial and ongoing training is key for your team to use your applications with absolute efficiency and effectiveness.
Providing a necessary framework is an overarching requirement, one that companies should develop during the integration phase and carry from deployment through the application's entire lifecycle. Business rules provide a sense of stability, uniformity, and reliability both for the application itself and for the most effective ways to use the application. Business rule development should be a parallel function with other critical processes when implementing applications, since it significantly enhances the viability of the software and therefore increases the likelihood of reaching your ROI goals.
You want your new software applications to be of maximum usefulness to the company and to reach maximum ROI. To fully enjoy these benefits you must take an organized, methodical approach throughout implementation.
Not singular in direction or intent, the approach you use should include everything from process integration, to lifecycle planning, to training, to business rule development. Together, these will ensure that your new software is successfully deployed and both only serves the business well and becomes a long-term business asset.
Want to know how to ensure these best practices are integrated in your software project?
Read our article here about the value of external IT partners.