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Do I need new software?

This newsletter will help you determine whether you need new computer software.

First, what is software?
Software, also known as "applications," is best recognized as computer programs used to do a variety of tasks, such as word processing, email, Internet browsing, and even games.

More technically, it is a mass of computer commands, usually in a 'programming code,' that allows you to input some type of data in a form the commands can manipulate, and it allows you to have that data come out in a form you want (assuming that you bought the right software).

Does your current software do what you want or need it to do?No?  Then, of course you need new software!Yes?  Then leave it alone!

Exception — Year 2000 Compliance
As with hardware, this is an important exception to the above question.

One way to check is to ask your software vendor. 
You should also see our Y2K article.

Do your office workers need to share similar data?
No?  Then you're fine!
Yes? Then you need networkable software.

What is networkable software?
That is software that can be run on more than one computer system simultaneously.  The same data file can be opened on computers connected with cable and hardware.  Notable types of networkable software are accounting programs and databases for such as client tracking, inventory, etc.

For more information on networks, see our newsletter entitled What is a Network?.

Why do you need the right software?
Have you ever tried to ski with a pair of flippers?  Without the right tools, you can't work, or can't work efficiently.  And if you can in some way "mickey-mouse" or "slow-poke" your way through, it probably took you three to four times longer than it should have, or would have if you had the right gear.

If you give your employees the right tools for the job, you can get real production and efficiency, and in a business, how much you or your employees produce directly affects how much your company makes (as long as you are producing a product the public wants, of course).

What is the difference between "off the shelf" and "custom software"?"Off the shelf" software is software that is mass produced for the general public and you can buy these at any software retail outlet.

"Custom software" is software made for a specific purpose that most other people and/or businesses would have no use for, but that some can use to save innumerable hours of time if they had it.  It is usually made specially for a company or individual.

What is a software "bug"?
Remember the definition of software I gave at the top of this page?  Well, a "bug" is one of those commands that the programmer (the fellow that writes software) wrote wrong.  A typo, a slip of the finger at 3 a.m., a mis-understood word or unclear command, too much soda and pizza, many things can cause a programmer to write a bug, but there is always the same reaction when one is found by the user while in the midst of his/her 30 page document …  (And the poor folks nearby better cover and duck!)

As you can see, the software you use does make a difference! Check your needs and the software's abilities and recommendations well beforebuying — or you'll be on those slopes with a weird set of skis.

As you can see, the software you use does make a difference!  Determine your needs and your software's capabilities and recommendations well before buying, or you may end up with the wrong software.

How can Computer Technology Solutions. help my business?
We can help you find out what hardware you really need for your business.  We can help you install it, set it up, and organize your data the same manner that you would organize your paper data so you find it easy to use.


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