Software is, of course, a vital part of your small business IT setup. Buying it wisely and cost effectively will enable you to save money and effort. This guide explains the best way of purchasing business software.
Without decent software your small business IT infrastructure is pretty much useless. Buying software can be as easy as visiting your local computer store, paying some money and getting a set of software. But this is not necessarily the most cost effective way of making such a purchase. Anyway, how do you know that your hardware will be able to run the software? Is it vital that you have the latest version of software to run your business or can older software do the trick?
Software can be expensive. Full copies of the more popular office software can cost a few hundred £s and specialised design software can cost thousands £s. By buying cost effectively you will save your small business money, whilst ensuring your software remains legal.
What software do you need?
The best place to start will be to consider what software you actually need to run your business.
For most small businesses the following software would be a must have.
An operating system. For most PCs the choice would be a copy of Microsoft Windows. At the time of writing the latest copy of Windows called Vista has just been released, although another operating system called Windows XP is still available.
Office software. This encompasses the software you typically need to run your business including a word processor (for letters and documents), a
Spreadsheet (for financial analysis) and an email program.
Other software that may be of use includes:
A PC database for record keeping.
Project management software.
Specialised design software such as CAD or CAM products.
Desk top publishing software for news letters and fancy documents.
Photo editing and design software.
Can my computers run the software I buy?
This is a very valid question and needs to be born in mind when buying software. If you have a PC that is more than 2 -3 years old then it may have a problem running some of the latest software from some manufacturers. This is due to the speed of the PC and its ability (or lack of!) to process the more complex newer software. In addition if you intend to undertake complex design type work such as CAD/CAM then you will need a PC with a suitable high specification.
You can always check with the software manufacturer that your PC will be able to run the software as they will always give you a required hardware specification.
We have more details on buying PC hardware in this guide
Business IT Guide
enables businesses to make the right IT decisions