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Software not only allows your computer hardware to do critical duties, but it may also improve the efficiency of your business. The correct software can even help you discover new ways to work. As a result, it is a critical company asset, and you should carefully select your software to ensure that it meets your needs.

Business benefits of new software

Take the time to talk to your employees, suppliers, and customers about how you might use technology to improve your business processes. Make a list of the goals and potential benefits of new software, then prioritise it to determine the best return on investment.

Choose software that will work on your present hardware as long as it does not detract from the potential benefits. Any hardware update costs should be factored into your budgeting. Alternatively, consider outsourcing your software needs (for example, cloud computing), which could help you save money on both software and hardware.

Open source and proprietary software

Proprietary software is software developed by a supplier and made available for you to use under an end-user licence agreement (EULA), which you effectively accept when you install the software.

The source code for most proprietary software is not included. This is the code that the programmer initially wrote. You and any other software vendor will be unable to make changes to the software package without this code. When you purchase a proprietary software package, you are not purchasing the product itself, but rather the permission to use it in a specified manner. The software is owned by the software business.

Open source software is distributed under a licence that permits you to make copies and distribute them to others. The source code for the software is included, which you can modify to suit your needs.

Open source software comes with a variety of licences. Some licences compel you to publish any changes you make to the source code, while others allow you to keep those changes private. Before using or updating the software, you should read the licence. Open source software is frequently offered for free download or for a low cost off-the-shelf.

Cloud computing – software as a service

Documents, emails, customer information, business applications, and other assets are all kept online – ‘in the cloud’ – with cloud computing. This allows them to be accessed from any computer or mobile device that has access to the internet and a web browser.

Cloud computing is extremely adaptable. It can help you get the most out of a tight IT budget while providing you with cutting-edge technology and expert assistance. However, before making a final selection, it is vital to examine certain potential downsides.

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