businesses-need-software

Your Business Needs Business Software

Some of us don’t like change, but if you want your business to grow, change is necessary. So if you’ve been clinging onto the belief that you don’t need ‘fancy’ business software to help your company grow, this short video from Electric Cloud explains how every business is a software business.

cloud-computing

SaaS & Cloud Computing

Nowhere do acronyms and buzzwords get thrown around more than in the world of business IT & software! The terms ‘cloud computing’ and ‘software as a service’ (SaaS), have been a round for a few years now, but they may still be new to you.

Even if you’ve heard about ‘the cloud’ and SaaS, you may still be wondering exactly what it is – and more importantly, if it’s something you should be considering for your business.

In these short videos, you’ll get an overview of what SaaS is, how it works in conjunction with cloud computing, and also whether it’s right for your business.

 

buying-business-software

Top Tips for Buying Business Software

Gone are the days of businesses spending huge amounts of money to buy a software license for a large piece of software.  This software would often contain elements the business didn’t need and cost more than they would really like to spend but were left with no option.  Today, there are cloud services and software as a service products that mean these days are gone.  But buying business software can still be filled with pitfalls and wasted money so here are some top tips to help get the best for your business.

Type of Software

For many businesses, software as a service (SaaS) or other cloud products are usually the way to go.  However, there are situations where physical software may still be the best option.  One reason for this may be if the business is in an area with slow internet connection speeds – this would mean it would take a long time to upload software and updates.  Or it may be that specialist software is required that is still only available via physical software options.

Finding the Right Product

Once the business knows whether they want physical or cloud based software, then the hunt begins.  It can be a very time consuming and sometimes confusing job to find the right software and for this reason, many companies choose to get professional help from an IT support company.  These are experts who deal with all aspects of software from its acquisition to maintenance and can be a cost effective option to employing someone to deal with the business’s software.

Getting Help

Whether you choose IT support or do it yourself, choose software that offers a top support structure.  This covers if something goes wrong but also when there are updates or amendments needed.  Look for 24/7 cover in the case of a problem as well as comprehensive solutions for upgrades and updates.  Alternatively, if you use the IT support option, discuss their service in this area before engaging their services.

Getting Trained

Once you have the software you want, you then need to teach your staff to use it.  Look for software that comes with or can provide training for your staff.  Ideally this should be using the internet rather than sending them somewhere for an expensive training session, though this may be needed with some specialist software.

Security

After what it does and what it costs, security is perhaps the most important issue for anything computer related today.  Knowing that the software has the right security built into it or that it works alongside the software in use is crucial.  Cyberattacks are continuing to grow and become more complex so businesses need to know that everything on their systems or that they use is safe and secure.

Conclusion

Choosing software can be a major decision for your business with far reaching consequences.  Doing it yourself can work but by using the services of an expert, this can remove the stress of the decision and allow you to focus your attention on other areas of the business.

seo-software

The Best Software for Better Rankings

If you have a business, then you need a website. And if you have a website, you want it to appear in search rankings. To do this successfully, a business needs a sound strategy for SEO or search engine optimisation. While it is possible to undertake hours of learning and trying different strategies to have success, sometimes it can also be the best route to use some professional software to take the hard work out of the process. With the help of thegrapefruit.co.uk, an expert Search Engine Optimisation company based in London, we’re going to look at some of the best software currently available. Incidentally, these guys have more great SEO advice and infromation and you can catch up with them on Google+.

MOZ

MOZ is more than just a piece of software, it is a collection of products aimed at improving a business’s SEO and internet presence. It offers an all-in-one set of SEO research and analytics tools as well as a free check to see how your business is listed on the internet – accuracy is key especially for local listings. In addition, they offer a MOZ Content option for content marketing, helping discover what customers want to read and what strategy will work for the business. Finally, their Followerwonk is ideal for polishing up the social media strategy and ensuring that a business presence is optimised and growing.

AWR

AWR is ideal if you have an SEO strategy but want to know if it is working and what needs to be done to improve it. The software puts all the SEO tools you need in one place including looking at keyword optimisation, link building and management as well as performance reporting and even analysis of competitors.

 

SEO Power Suite

SEO Power Suite is a combination of four different tools – Rank Trackers, Website Auditor, the SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Working together, the software package allows complete assessment of the company’s SEO in an easy-to-use platform that makes it ideal for even the smallest business. It does have limited options for exporting data and SEO reports as its only downside.

Web CEO

Web CEO is said to be one of the best software packages for the tracking and managing of your SEO efforts. It is user-friendly and has a range of tools to improve SEO strategy. There are also tools to help optimise those tricky keywords as well as building and managing links, as broken links can have a negative effect on SEO. Perhaps the only downside with the software is that it isn’t currently compatible with Mac systems.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is described as an ‘essential tool’ for serious content marketers or SEO. It allows in-depth analysis of both your SEO position and that of your competitors to see what is working and what isn’t. It includes rank tracker and crawl reports to get a feel for how your business places on SEO reports. It does have a slightly rudimental keyword tool and is a little pricier than some options.

So there you have it. Using software such as these packages can do what you need – whether this is setting up your SEO strategy, monitoring one that an SEO expert has instituted for you or changing direction in a meaningful way when things aren’t working. The range of tools available means that no matter what size your business is, there is a perfect match available for it.

software-as-a-service

Software as a Service – Pros & Cons

In recent times, we have all become familiar with cloud services and the idea that not everything needs to be on the server within a business. A new addition to these style of services is known as the Software as a Service or SaaS. But what is it and what potential pros and cons are there for the average business? We had a brief look at SaaS in a previous post, but we wanted to go into things in a bit more detail, looking at the pros and cons, so you can decide if it’s someting that might be right for yiur business.

Software options

For many years, the model was simple – if you wanted a piece of software, you bought it to install on your system, with an on-premise license that incorporated the number of users within your organisation. This meant that the software seller got a big payment from you at the beginning and then hoped you took upgrades and add-ons during the life of the software. The biggest problem with this was that the business could find it had spent a lot of money on software and it didn’t do what they needed. The initial cost also priced out small and even medium sized companies.

The development of the internet, with high speed connections and reliability of service, has forever changed how businesses obtain and use software. The newest version of these concepts are the Software as a Service distribution model and this is becoming increasingly popular with businesses around the world. It allows both businesses and consumers to lease pieces of software that are delivered over the internet. The flexibility and affordability of these service mean that revenues from SaaS look set to reach $106 billion by next year, a growth of 21% over 2015.

Pros

All of this sounds great for businesses but then natural scepticism comes on – is it really as good as it sounds? What are the downsides?

Firstly, the pros in favour of using SaaS. For starters, affordability is definitely a huge benefit for any size company. Because the software is leased rather than owned, the pricing is completely different. Ongoing subscription fees, often on a monthly basis is the normal payment method and allows businesses to pay for only what they need rather than a set package. It is also simple to increase the license if you add more employees or decrease it if you reduce your numbers.

The internet basis of the software makes it quick to install and to update and is easy to move from one location to another if your employees work in different locations, such as working from home.

Cons

The biggest potential problem with SaaS is that if you lose your internet connection, you lose the ability to access the software. So while your business may be able to operate without the internet, you could be hampered by a loss of software.

Infrastructure needs also to be good enough to handle the software needs and if you are based in an area with limited bandwidth, then operating these internet-based software programs may be tricky or time consuming.

The biggest worry about the internet in general is security and this concern can also effect cloud systems and SaaS software. This can be as much with the business themselves as with the software and up to date security protections are essential for both parties.