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What Happened to Service in Software?

In today's world, service has been replaced by software, which leads to training headaches and organizational nightmares.
Jeff Davis

Let's take a trip back in time.

It’s the year 2000 and your small business is having challenges.quickbooks

You heard about a nifty piece of software that could help, so you head off to CompUSA, grab a shoebox sized container containing an assortment of around a dozen disks.

You get back to the office, pop the floppy disk in your PCs, and you're off to the races!

The software version was usually good for a year or two before you’d head back to CompUSA for the latest and greatest shoebox of software.

If you had problems installing or using the software there were live call centers with people to assist.

Then, you’d cross your fingers and hope your team adopted the new software to solve your problems.

Not much has changed in the era of ‘apps’.

Today you subscribe to software without the need for a updating versions or a huge amount of upfront cash; most SaaS (Software as a Service) is pay-as-you-go.

Economic pressures have commoditized many applications to the point where you almost EXPECT a free version or period before you buy.

Just like in 2000, nothing is free. You’re either paying with personal information (your data), a future charge, or most likely a complete lack of service infrastructure.

With all of our technology advancements we’ve somehow managed to squeeze service out of software. I personally don’t consider ‘service’ as a discussion board with comments from other angry customers!

Software alone rarely solves a problem.

I can buy a budgeting app for my phone but it won’t change my daily habit of overspending on lattes.

The same holds true in business. Over many years in SaaS, I’ve witnessed countless businesses identify an operational problem and try to throw software at it.

Executives had great intentions, but if operations and owners don't buy in, the software will fail and the problem will remain. In highly transactional industries, taking the time to deploy a new software solution may be viewed as a hindrance to employees, not a solution.

In the pre-hire industry alone, there are over 500 flavors of applicant tracking. It’s a hyper-competitive market with mostly horizontal providers competing on low pricing, fresh features and slick marketing.

But at what cost?

Service.

If you truly want to solve a problem in your organization and know an application can help, make sure your provider has the ability to ensure your team makes it a success.

Your provider needs to help you wrap technology around your people and processes. A good provider knows your current state and gives you a plan to evolve your organization to its preferred state. If not, you’re just popping in a floppy disk and crossing your fingers.

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