Purchasing technology is a lot like hiring a new employee. First, it takes awhile to get set up—and if the onboarding doesn’t go well, it won’t be successful. It also has to work well with other people, whether in your department, across the whole company, or with outside partners and customers. But most of all, it must demonstrate growth and a high return on investment over time.
This is what makes choosing technology so important.
Scaling up software requires choosing the right software to begin with. But there’s more to it than finding software that fits your current needs. It’s important to invest in tech that can scale as your organization grows and evolves. Be sure it checks these boxes first.
1. It’s easy for your teams to adopt and use.
Shockingly, 70% of digital transformations fail. One of the biggest contributors to this failure is employees’ inability to adopt new software, either due to poor training, barriers to access, or low usability.
The best way to scale technology is to ensure user adoption early on by choosing software that’s intuitive and easy to use. The best, most helpful tools accomplish this with no- or low-code features like:
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Mobile accessibility
- Automated workflows
- Team routing and approval
- Easy integrations with favorite apps
2. It can seamlessly integrate with other tools.
There’s no place for data silos in business anymore. The whole purpose of gathering data is to use it, but disparate teams and apps prevent that from happening. When systems don’t work together, it keeps your team from moving forward, ultimately stunting your growth.
Integrations provide easy access to your data—even if it's in another system. Because the systems are interoperable, they can “talk” to one another to share information in real time without involving IT.
At the same time, housing your data in too many places and working across numerous systems divides your team’s focus. To scale, look for comprehensive or single-source platforms that serve more than one need.
Did you know? Formstack works with over 260 third-party integrations to help connect your forms, documents, and signatures to the technologies you need to streamline processes and increase productivity.
3. It has frequent releases with new functionality.
Stagnant software will never scale no matter how often your teams use it. Regular platform releases not only fix bugs, but launch new functionality that demonstrates a vendor’s sense of innovation and understanding of your changing needs.
Look for platforms that regularly release new software. Then, take advantage of the new features and products they offer. This forces your company outside of its comfort zone, allowing you to conquer long-standing challenges and accelerate your productivity.
4. It balances cost with ROI.
What’s more important than cost? Value. Scaling your software means realizing return on your initial investment. Once you get past up-front costs and any necessary implementation, the software you choose should start demonstrating value as soon as possible. If it doesn’t, you’ll never be able to grow your technology use (or your business) without throwing more money at the problem.
At the same time, going the “cheap” route may cost less up front but keep you from realizing your potential without adequate tools that grow with your business. Choosing a less expensive option may feel like a win at first, but if it only offers limited functionality or it continues to break, you’ll end up spending more time and money in the long run fixing it. It’s better to weigh the cost of a solution with the functionality it provides to determine its long-term value.
Create a budget and identify your “must have” features versus the ones that are just nice to have. As your company grows and achieves ROI with the basic budget you’ve outlined, weigh the costs and benefits of adding on more functionality. You may find that offerings have expanded, opening up even more opportunities to grow with a single software.
Compare: Checkout Formstack pricing and compare plans for each product.
Start Scaling Up Software at Your Org
You can’t grow something from nothing. That’s why it’s so important to make good decisions early on when selecting your technology. If you make the wrong choice, it can produce the opposite effect you intend, limiting user adoption, wasting money, and keeping you from crucial growth.
Get an expert’s take on introducing new technology. Check out our Practically Genius podcast episode with Drew Weiss of VICE Media on the Future of Work: Navigating Digital Transformation.