A recent report published by DocsCorp found that enterprise software investment is still a priority for businesses in 2020 – despite the financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19, that has left many reeling.
We surveyed 500 project managers in the U.S. in March of this year when offices and businesses had shut in response to the global pandemic. Despite the immediate financial impacts of a lockdown, 44% of respondents still plan to purchase new enterprise software this year.
56% said updating software that is outdated or underperforming is a priority for their business. And 60% want new software to improve productivity. For many, this will centre around replacing manual workflows with more efficient digital alternatives. In the last three months, there has been a surge in the volume of Google searches for ‘e-signatures.’ Staff could once rely on the office printer and scanner for wet ink signature workflows. But working remotely means they need access to e-signature capabilities to close deals and finalise agreements from home. Businesses can make quick and immediate investments in software – a PDF editor with e-signature tools, or an e-signature web service, for example – to support that need.
It’s likely a quick transition to remote working also helped businesses identify more wide-scale systems needing to be updated or modernised. For some, the anticipated investment will go toward building the necessary infrastructure to support secure agile and remote working.
We’ve seen this first-hand with users of our desktop metadata cleaning application asking about server-based protection. Staff aren’t just handling and sharing sensitive documents on their local machines. They’re emailing them from their personal laptops and smartphones – often without the same level of security that’s been carefully constructed by their firm’s IT department. Firms are now looking to deploy server-based metadata cleaning, so these email communications can be sanitised of sensitive data.
Secrets to success
Of the people we surveyed, 70% said their last major enterprise software purchase stayed within budget, and 44% said it was deployed on time.
Detailed planning is critical to successfully choosing and implementing new enterprise software. One project alone can involve people from several departments: an IT manager to research and evaluate software, a group of users to test it and provide feedback, a CTO to oversee and report on the project to senior leadership, and in-house IT trainers or helpdesk staff to deploy the software and help bring new users up to speed.
57% of respondents organised a software demo with the vendor before finalising their purchase – an essential step in the process of choosing new enterprise software. A software demo can work to confirm what you already know of the product and its features and allow you to visualize how the product will work in practice.
51% ran a pilot program before the deployment of their last major software purchase. A pilot program is a way to try the software before you buy it. It gives future users a better idea of how the software would work when rolled out across the whole business. Skipping straight to deployment could cause unnecessary disruption to the company if the software doesn’t work or perform as expected.
A new resource designed to help
Switching to software that’s better suited to how you do business can unlock better productivity, improved reporting, and higher-quality service. DocsCorp has partnered with enterprise software section consultant, speaker, thought leader, and author, Chris Doig, on a free industry guide designed to help. It’s full of tips, advice, best-practice processes, and real people’s success stories that can help you ensure things change for the better. Go here to learn more about it and download your copy.