There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to selecting software.
Everyone has different opinions on what companies are looking for when it comes to software. We’ve combined and analyzed data from over 1,971 software projects to let you know what companies selecting software found most useful during their search.
We’ll be giving you facts of software selection including time frames for selecting, the most useful information for prospective buyers, and the top objectives for implementing in the first place.
Check out our key findings below.
1. Companies take, on average, 20 weeks to select software
Our report data shows that companies like to take their time when choosing software. This suggests that companies find the software selection process a worthwhile use of resources, and dedicate a significant amount of time to selecting the right system.
Further, we saw a significant trend between company size and selection timeframes, with larger companies taking up to 9 weeks more to select software compared to the average. The additional time could be the result of consulting stakeholders across multiple departments in large organizations.
In contrast, smaller companies took less time to select their software, however, our data supported that a larger percentage of the workforce would use the system.
2. 57% of companies purchasing software were first-time buyers
More than half of the companies selecting software were doing so for the first time. A significant portion of first-time buyers were small businesses, specifically those with less than 50 employees, whose main reason for implementing software was to support growth. This data suggests that software is an important step for businesses looking to increase their capacity.
In addition to this, larger companies, with less than 999 employees, were also likely to be implementing for the first time. This could indicate a technological shift in company behavior of all sizes, using software to support and action long-term goals.
3. People searching for software are most interested in pricing and comparison information
Companies looking to buy software were most interested in pricing, 20.82% of buyers, and comparison information of available systems, 20.7% of buyers. Additional topics of interest were software discovery and shortlisting.
Identifying software products and comparing potential systems are key steps during the selection and shortlisting process. Companies were most interested in factual information related to the systems which could draw like-for-like comparisons to inform their selection choices.
A simple, side-by-side comparison of available software enables companies to understand the similarities and differences between two systems to accurately inform their selection choices.
4. Most people selecting software are at management level
Those at management level were most frequently involved in the software selection process, with 29.11% of those selecting software identified as managers, but this was closely followed by involvement from executives, generalists, and specialists. Our data showed a range of seniority involved in selection projects outside of ‘typical’ senior management suggesting that software selection is a company-wide decision reaching all levels of employee. The percentage of senior management involved in the selection also indicates that choosing the right software is a priority for companies, and they are actively involved in the project from the start.
5. The top reason for implementing new software is to increase efficiency
29.46% of companies cited increasing efficiency as their main goal for implementing software, this leads as the number one reason for implementing by almost 10%.
Further breakdown of this data found that mid-sized businesses, with between 50 and 999 employees, shared the same goal of gaining greater functionality. In contrast, small businesses, with 49 employees or less, cited supporting growth as their reason for implementing, and large businesses, with over 1,000 employees, listed consolidating disparate systems as their second most popular goal.
6. The majority of those selecting software are seeking a cloud-based solution
Companies were primarily looking for cloud-based software, however, 46.7% of businesses were neutral to a specific platform preference. This could suggest that companies are more open to hosting method when they start their search and that this particular feature isn’t a defining requirement for most companies.
Whilst companies were happy with any type of deployment, it is also worthy to note that only 6.2% were specifically searching for an on-premise solution.
7. The average enterprise software budget can range between $1,800 and $10,000 per user over a 5 year period.
The software budget data across all enterprise software markets ranged from $1,800 to $10,000 per user over a 5 year period. This range equates to roughly $360 to $2,000 per user per year.
Specific figures on software budgets can be found in our market project reports for ERP, HRIS, CRM, and WMS.
Our research found that companies implementing higher-level systems typically have a smaller percentage of employees using the system, compared to other systems which may have a lower cost per user budget.