9 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Software

9 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Software ( istock )

The best farm software programs deliver efficiency, functionality and user satisfaction. Do the programs you use today make the grade? Answer the following questions to help guide you in evaluating and selecting software for your farm, says Matt House, principal with CliftonLarsonAllen.  

What are the pros and cons of your current software?

This includes ease of use.

How much of your software is currently being used?

For example, are people reconciling spreadsheets in Excel and documenting why they performed work outside the software?

How do you use the software?

Generate a list of what you need to perform your work. Then compare the list to the capabilities of the software to identify gaps. Generate a wish list of add-on features for the current software or new software.

What is your software’s support and scalability?

IT support should respond quickly if you experience issues. Review any inactive software functions or discuss possible add-ons with your vendor.

Is your current software capable of interfacing with the new technologies you are implementing?

Software should be tested to ensure it can communicate with the other platforms, such as mobile devices or equipment in the fields.

Is your software security up to date?

Your operation should know if it is using the most recent software version and if the vendor is constantly updating the software for security patches.

Is your software storing data securely?

This includes knowing if the software is encrypting the data or relying on your operation’s IT infrastructure for data protection.

What kind of reviews do other farmers give the software?

The answer to this question alone might have a powerful influence on how you upgrade your software.

Is your software able to adapt in a fast-paced environment?

As your operation continues to evolve, consider how your software will be able to handle additional data storage and processing without impeding the speed of the network.

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