To be agile and effective in the Age of Amazon, you need to make sure the software companies you partner with, and the solutions they provide, are constantly evolving to meet your changing needs.

You need to reject the idea that software manufactures are simply providers—companies need to be competing for your business, not just selling a generic, one-size-fits-all product. Make sure that they are focused on driving costs down for you, providing you increasing capability, delivering better service, and have transparent pricing. This can manifest itself in several ways; a la carte pricing, discounts for bundled services, and packages that are effective and not filled with fluff.

Software companies can only do this if they are designing their companies with the same principles in mind, including the use of the latest technologies and processes. These companies, and their products, have to be future ready with respect to the systems and services they build.

For instance: There is much debate on cloud vs. on premise software products. What does this debate actually mean for you and why should you care? A major component has to do with the usability of the product. Cloud products are modern and truly where software is headed — the primary advantage is that the software is continuously updated, often times without the user even knowing. Since the software is sold as a subscription, you don’t need to pay for updates (that’s built into the pricing structure). So, you always have the most up-to-date version and never have to worry about upgrades. On-premise software, on the other hand, requires manual updates—often which aren’t free.

If you are thinking – “Well, on-premise software means I get to keep the software forever and therefore it’s less expensive in the long run”— you’ve been deceived. Think MS Windows. Do you know anyone who is still using Microsoft 98? Is Microsoft still even sending updates for it? Are 3rd party software vendors making software compatible with it?

The answer to all of the above is, no — and, why would they? It’s old, obsolete, based on old technology and hardware, and intended to solve old business problems. So, I encourage you to ask yourself — Why are you still using technology that was built at the same time as Windows 98? How well is it really serving your company?

This is why it’s so important to partner with your software providers – while legacy system manufactures will still market you their ‘wolves-in-sheep-clothing’ products that were developed in the same era of Windows 98, modern cloud products are truly what your business needs to compete.

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