(Hat tip to Dennis Brekke for the photo)
Choosing the right software or applications for your business to use is important. With so much information online, it’s sometimes hard to gauge which reviews you should listen to and which you should disregard.
Find recommendations and reviews
Get software recommendations by finding out what other people in your position are using and how it is helping them or what they wish they had done differently.
The Quora website is a great starting place to find software recommendations. For example, a forum on ‘Top Cloud Business Apps’ for the past year will show you what other managers are actually using. If the another manager or business owner is having success with the software, it’s worth taking a look.
Turbine posted what software we use for our operations in the cloud. Knowing what tools other businesses use for their operations is the best recommendation you can get.
LinkedIn is a great place to start a discussion. You can get recommendations from your own network and know it’s coming from a trusted source.
Dedicated software sites
Some recommend getting the search going with ratings and reviews. CNET, PCMag and Alternativeto.net are all sites people use to do side-by-side comparisons or find ratings of software and applications.
And, of course, once you have some recommendations, you can use your search engine of choice to find in depth reviews as long as you know what to look for and what to ignore.
What a proper software review tells you
You need to know that you’re reading the right software reviews. A proper review will answer key questions:
- Who is doing the review?
- What size is their business and what market are they in?
- What operation does the software fill in their business?
- What does the software do well?
- What features does the software offer?
- What are the drawbacks?
- What is the verdict?
Know what reviews to ignore
You want full reviews that answer all the questions that a proper software review should. You should ignore:
Advertisements. Someone may give full disclosure that they work for the company, but that needs to be followed by founded reasons as to why their software can help you. And you will definitely want third-party opinions.
Short complaints with grammar errors. If you find a short rant with no reasoning as to why the software was so horrible, note it and move on. You want clean, thought-out advice.
The unbalanced. You need the pros and the cons. A good review should tell you the positive and the negative.
The decision is yours
Not every website has something to say about every software application, so there is no master source for choosing software. You should base your decision on an accumulation of recommendations, reviews and your own knowledge about what is best for your company.