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A Complete Guide To Remote Team Hiring

The popularity of working remotely is increasing day by day. People of almost all professions around the world are giving importance to remote working. From flexible work schedules to the absence of daily commute, remote working has numerous perks. But remote employees are not the only ones getting benefits from this process. Companies that build remote teams have great benefits too than the ones that still continue keeping all their work in-house. Especially after many reputed organizations have adopted remote working and improving employee engagement and productivity, many small business owners have also started following the path.

remote team

In fact, according to statistics, around 83% of people worldwide work remotely, and 6% are small business owners.

But what does a remote team mean? Today’s post will give a detailed insight into hiring a remote team and its growing popularity among employers and employees. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the discussion. Let’s start by telling you what a remote team is and why companies are focusing on remote team building and management.

What Is the Remote Team?

A remote working team includes employees or contractors from different geographical locations, working for a company. Companies who hire remote workers give less importance to employees’ locations and put more focus on their skill set as well as the ability to work independently while managing communication and maintaining productivity for the long term.

But Why Are Companies Focusing on Creating a Remote Team?

Companies teaming up with remote workers can get great productivity benefits, sometimes more than from those who continue maintaining all work in -house. The major benefits for which nowadays, globally many companies are focusing on creating remote team are:

1 Cost-saving:

Hiring new employees and training them can take a huge toll on employers. Moreover, sometimes, sending them on paid vacation or training can cost a lot for companies. But by hiring a remote team or remote employees, companies can bring a significant difference in spending. They can save money in the recruitment and training process. Also, there will be no paid vacation.

2 Wide Access to Talent:

Companies that hire remote workers do not have to stick to the process of finding workers based on nearby locations. They have access to talented people from anywhere in the world. Therefore they can focus on picking the best one without thinking where that person is actually based on.

3 Work Availability Across Different Time Zones:

If a company hires remote workers from different places around the world, the employees work in different time zones. As a result, that company can have somebody available always to work or manage things while others are not awake. This way, workflow gets improved.

4 Improved Productivity & Efficiency:

74% of employees in the US confirmed that remote working is best for maintaining good work and personal life balance. In fact, 70% of them agree that working remotely reduces their stress level, enabling them to take leaves. Also, there’s no time wasted in daily commutes, thus they can get more work done than usual. So, it is vivid that remote working increases productivity and improves work efficiency, directly benefiting the companies.

5 Increased Employee Retention:

As remote working gives comfort and convenience to the employees, for companies, it becomes easier to retain good employees. Usually, replacing a good employee is always colossal. Recruiting a new one, giving training, and helping him or her to become the exact replacement is not a matter of joke. But by hiring remote workers or hiring a remote team, most companies often do not have to face such issues.

In a nutshell, focusing on remote working in today’s world is a wise decision to take for companies. Therefore, the number of companies opting for this option is increasing. Hiring a remote team has become a growing trend now.

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How Can Companies Adopt Remote Working – The New Trend?

If you want to adopt remote working in your business, the first and foremost thing you should remember is there are multiple challenges ahead. Only by using the right tools, and following the correct methods, you can get your remote team onboard successfully. Here are a few ways you can follow while adapting this new trend to your company:

  • Design Routined Activities

    Ensure all the members from your remote team participate in group calls, video conferences, or any other information-sharing activities on a daily or weekly basis. This will help in creating bonds between team members and helping them feel a part of your organization.

  • Maintain Work Calendar

    Maintaining a team calendar that tracks everyone’s work and availability helps in team synchronization.

  • Use the Right Tools

    Using the right tools for communicating, managing projects, tracking time, and sharing data is the key factor in managing a remote team.

  • Improve Communication

    If you are planning to hire remote workers, you must be prepared to use some advanced software and tools to have clear and smooth communication with your future workers.

    Managing a remote team successfully can give you great benefits in return. These advantages have already been discussed in the previous points. But there are some disadvantages too in remote working. Let’s have a look, what disadvantages your company may get by following a remote working trend.

Cons of Adopting Remote Working

  • Juggle Between Different Time Zones

    Remote hiring allows you to have access to a wide talent pool around the world. But sometimes, to manage work or conduct a live meeting with all your team members, you need to follow the time zone where your employees live, even though it is your bedtime.

  • Absence of Real-time Collaboration

    If most of your remote employees in the same teamwork from different time zones, sometimes you may find difficulty conducting meetings where all of the team members can contribute. This affects real-time collaboration.

  • Probability of Miscommunication

    In a company, miscommunication usually occurs due to a lack of understanding of each other in a specific way that leads to the progress and growth of the company. Facing challenges in communication is a common factor when companies start working with remote teams. And usually, the damage from such miscommunication can become more intense.

  • Lack of Trust Due to Limited Control Over Employees

    If you will not be able to monitor the day-to-day work of your employees, it leads to mismanagement and trusting issues. In a remote working environment, this challenge can be faced by companies that do not use project management and time tracking tools.

  • The Need for Various Tools, Techniques & Training

    To teach your remote employees about company culture, help them know each other, boost their productivity, improve their involvement, and promote business growth, you need to use the right tools. These tools help you manage remote teams seamlessly. Also, you should conduct training programs, introduce new wellness policies for them. Doing these adds extra cost to your yearly expenditure.

    Well, discussing the disadvantages of remote hiring does not mean I am here to discourage you from building a new remote team for your company. Working remote comes with many perks when you hire and manage with proper plans and strategies.

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The Checklist to Remember While Hiring a Remote Team for Your Company

Below are step-by-step methods discussed to help you manage the entire remote recruitment process seamlessly.

i Your Job Ad Should Define The Expectations & Responsibilities Thoroughly:

While hiring you should always create an accurate and engaging recruitment ad, especially when you are planning to hire remote workers. Make sure your ad has thorough outlines of job responsibilities and your expectations from the candidate. You can also mention how your company works well in a remote-friendly environment, whether you have a headquarter or a completely remote company. Required working hours can also be added. Moreover, you can consider taking your advertisement into video or adding a video to the job description as well. In such a video, you can include existing employees’ testimonials, share why they chose to work for your organization, and cherish it. Include glimpses into the perks an employee can get from your company. Add information about interesting projects employees can work on after being part of your company.

ii Source Candidates in a Structured Way:

As I mentioned earlier, hiring a remote team enables companies to get access to a wide talent pool; you should be proactive in finding the best talent that rightly fits your job requirement. You should consider remote team building by sourcing diverse candidates regardless of thinking about which places they are based on. Top 3  places where you can source candidates are:

iii Your website:

If you are giving a recruitment ad on your website, make sure you have a separate page for it. The page should include all the details of the job. Also, your website should have a good about us page, showing details about your organization’s culture, mission, and vision.

iv Social Media:

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter are great places where you can start sourcing candidates. Make sure your company or you as an individual has a strong social presence. This will help in building brand recognition. And eventually, you will get to drive the attention of talented people globally.

v Job Boards:

People who look for remote jobs, often browse some particular portals that advertise remote recruitments only. Also, there are some gender-specific job portals. So, other than posting your ads on reputed common job boards, you can try these portals as well to extend your search.

vi Maintain a Good Shortlisting Process:

Maintaining a seamless shortlisting process helps you manage the hiring process efficiently. Be clear about what qualities you want to see in your candidates. After that, identify how your existing or future remote setup will leave an impact on the candidates. You can even maintain a scorecard to assess and compare applicants easily. You can also conduct pre-employment evaluation tests to find out their technical expertise, cognitive capabilities, personality, and more. And finally, once you are done with shortlisting the candidates, proceed with the further interviews.

vii Check Your Candidate’s Core Competence:

As remote work comes with some lucrative perks, thus many people often take an interest in applying for such jobs. But only willingness doesn’t make a person fit for a remote job. Someone who is proactive, self-disciplined, and capable of managing his/her own psychology is often a good fit for a remote team. Also, the person should have analytical thinking ability and be suitable for your work culture. Above all, while interviewing, you need to talk about the pros and cons of remote working. The feedback you get about this topic from the candidates plays an important role in evaluating their competence during the hiring process.

viii Conduct Video Interview:

Conducting video interviews is the best way to hire a remote worker. It helps you get a complete picture of a candidate. Use multiple interviews, both one-way and two-way, in different stages of the whole process. One-way virtual interviews are like phone screening. On the other hand, a two-way interview can replace a face-to-face interview. Following these processes will help you evaluate the candidates’ communication skills.  Ask thoughtful consistent questions. To be extra careful, just check your internet connection before starting the process and keep a phone nearby as a backup plan in case the internet starts being unstable. There is various advanced software through which you can conduct a video interview.

ix Consider Organizing Online Tests:

This is an important step while hiring a remote team. A test, including questions that portray real-world situations, can help you assess candidates and build a remote team for your company in a much easier way. Create an assignment with a specific time limit. The assignment should be relevant to the candidate’s job responsibilities. Make sure you are responsive to any query of the candidate. Keep such an online test project as the final step after taking multiple interviews. Paying candidates for spending their time taking the test is also a good idea.

x Don’t Make Unnecessary Delays in Closing a Hire:

Once you make the final decision of hiring somebody, proceed with it quickly. Mostly good candidates often apply for multiple jobs, and when you are planning to hire them, they may already grab another offer too. Remember, the way you organize a hiring process leaves an impression on your applicants too. If you are not responsive or make delays in extending an offer, the candidate may possess a bad impression of your organization. And this especially is relatable when it comes to building a remote team when you will never wish a candidate to feel detached from a flow of undeviating communication.

In a nutshell, being able to hire people from anywhere in the world and create a team of people with diversity and excellent expertise is certainly a privilege. But it comes with challenges throughout the hiring process if you are unaware of the right tools and techniques. I hope the above discussion has enlightened you in some way about hiring a remote team.

Now, let’s come to the point of managing remote employees. Remote team management is not a matter of joke. You need to build a company culture with your team, maintain steady communication, handle conflicts, and manage growth effectively in order to successfully manage a remote team.

How To Manage Schedules For Remote Employees

The mobile workforce continues to grow with each passing day as companies employees move operations towards the cloud and to mobile apps across hundreds of devices. As companies hire more mobile workers, managing them can become a bit of a challenge, even for the most experienced management team.

employees

When it comes to managing the schedules of remote employees, companies need to define when employees are supposed to be on the clock.

Issues with Remote Employees

It’s nice to have remote employees on the payroll because you can hire the most talented people available for your open jobs without paying them to relocate. The downside to this is not seeing them face-to-face each day. Another downside is that they can pretty much pick their own schedule, within reason. But, will they truly work when they say they will? We aren’t saying that remote employees will take advantage of their situation, but it is a possibility every company must consider when hiring for such a role.

Use Video as Much as Possible

Video chat has become so popular these days with the advent of Skype and Facetime. There are plenty of options out there, including Facebook Live, for you to chat with or sent videos to others. As a manager, you need to use video as much as possible when managing remote employees. Connecting with your mobile employees via video lets them know you are concerned about how they are doing and also want to check in on their surroundings. If they are supposed to be working, but have a room full of people behind them on a video chat, it’s safe to say they might not be too focused.

Time & Attendance Systems

If your company employs a large number of remote employees, it is time to use time & attendance systems to track their hours on the clock. These systems help track PTO, FMLA and sick time, while also helping managers schedule thousands of employees at one shot without creating overlap. We will discuss some benefits of time & attendance systems so you can manage schedules of remote employees.

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Ability to Submit Availability

Absence management software makes it easy for your remote employees to submit their availability. They can load a calendar in a browser, insert which days they can work, and then you can populate the schedule based on the availability submitted by all the employees.

Prevent Overlap

These systems also make it nearly impossible to schedule multiple employees for the same time slot, especially if they are performing the same task. Preventing overlap in scheduling is an important feature every scheduling manager needs. Remote workers, especially if they are in different time zones, might need to work congruently on certain items. The system will allow you to schedule employees at the same time if you put in an administrative override.

Set Schedule Reminders

Once you have populated the schedule, you can set reminders for each employee. They can be sent out 24 hours in advance of a shift and as often as you’d like leading up to the scheduled shift. This makes it easier for remote employees to remember when they are scheduled to work, especially if they are a consultant or freelancer who might be working for other companies aside from yours.

Track Time Worked

Absence management systems can also track time worked and provide a comprehensive report for management and payroll when needed. If you need to check on the status of a remote employee, simply log into the system to see if he or she has clocked in lately. If not, you can broach the topic the next time you speak.

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Limit Hours

If you are worried that remote employees will try to bill for too many hours each pay period, you can put a limit on the hours they work right in the system. If they get to login and signup for open shifts, you can limit them based on number of shifts worked per week, per month or hours worked per week or month. This puts a stranglehold on payroll and you don’t need to constantly monitor the situation for abusers.

Shift Call Times

If your remote employees have to sit on conference calls multiple times per week, consider shifting call times if they are in different time zones. You don’t want to frustrate one group of remote employees to satisfy another due to difference in time. You don’t want to purposely inconvenience one group over another, but with remote employees, it’s bound to happen. If it happens often, change the call times routinely so everyone has to be inconvenienced at one time or another.

Remote employees have become a large part of the workforce in the United States over the past five years and the numbers continue to grow. Take the time to learn how to properly manage the schedules for remote employees to avoid running into any problems.

Benefits Of On-premise Attendance Software

It is critical for all organizations to track time and attendance. Every cent spent on labor counts to enhance business productivity. An automated system helps companies across all industries improve operations and save money. No matter the chosen method, this task is not something that can be set aside. Some industries are adopting cloud-based options, despite much trepidation about security and data losses.

attendance

All departments within a company are affected by the effectiveness of attendance software. A primary goal for this type of system is to maintain a productive, efficient and cost-effective workforce. For these reasons, other industries are looking for alternatives to the risks that come with tracking attendance in the cloud. One solid solution at the top of the list is on-premise attendance software.

With on-premise software, your company can:

• Handle employee data internally
• Control the system
• Control window of time to resolve issues
• Direct when security patches are applied
• Customize the system

Optimizing the workplace becomes more challenging as companies continue to become more dynamic. Yet, having on-premise attendance software does not limit employees to coming into the office just to clock in. Mobile devices mean employees can work outside the office. This can be at home, in remote offices or on the move.

While this enables your company to be more flexible and effective, it can also make keeping track of work time problematic. While you determine the best software solution for attendance purposes, remember to add employee value proposition to the list.

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Employees Want to Know: What’s in it for Me?

It began as a great idea for companies that wanted to know what employees need to be most effective at work. Whether it involves hiring a consulting firm or distributing perfunctory surveys, employers are curious to know why a highly talented person would choose to work at their company? The answer might be simpler than some expect.

Often, the focus on choosing an attendance software system is what benefits it brings to the employer. Naturally, accurate tracking of employee time offers many benefits for employers. You get an easier, faster and more accurate way to process payroll. Department managers have a tool that helps them better control labor costs.

These are necessary business practices, but overlooking the benefits of time tracking for employees should not be overlooked. Employee resistance to a new time and attendance tracking system can have opposite effects to what you want to achieve.

Before long, resistance slows down adoption of the software. This can reduce any time or cost savings you hoped to gain. For the implementation of a new on-premise attendance system to succeed, your employees must be on board.

The key is communicating to employees the value in embracing the attendance system. Few things irritate employees more than getting shorted in the paychecks. Correcting the problem takes effort and time, which could mean not receiving the correct amount until the next payday.

Therefore, the first benefit for employees is major. An automated attendance system provides more accuracy in calculating employee pay. Employees are happier when they are paid on-time or when time-off requests are approved without delay.

Another way to show employees that an attendance system is in their best interest is giving them access to their information. Most programs allow employees to check their hours and view schedules. You will also save time in the human resources department by giving employees this self-service feature.

Time and Attendance Systems Make Good Business Sense

No longer tracking your employees’ work hours manual is not the only benefit to having an attendance system in-house. You have direct access to track labor distribution and job costing.

Department managers can look at key performance indicators such as hours and wages, scheduled/working status and employee counts. Such financial insight extends to setting business goals and making strategic decisions to improve your company’s competitive edge.

On-premise attendance software provides real-time information where information about breaks and PTO calculations are accurate. Connect the system with company policies and you can prevent users from entering inaccurate data. This type of assurance improves reporting and compliance.

Whenever employees work overtime, the system can automatically calculate the hours. Data gives managers oversight of how many hours each employee works to ensure there are no budget overruns. For employees who receive different rates of pay, managers are not left trying to complete those calculations manually.

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Benefits of an On-Premise Solution

There are many benefits to using an on-premise solution for tracking attendance. Being able to control company and employee data is important. You will have peace of mind from knowing this infrastructure is in-house.

Additionally, on-premise software means you can have a dedicated IT staff to support the system. Maintenance and disaster recovery plans are within reach. You are not worried about where your company’s place in line with other customers that an offsite tech company manages.

An on-premise attendance system also offers flexibility in adjusting how the system operates internally. Being able to customize the system gives employees options for adjusting work hours, leave and overtime.

The ease of tracking employees time with an on-premise solution trumps what some have experienced with cloud-based systems. Yes, employees may have an easy way to mark their status at work, but this could lead to fraudulent time and attendance entries.

Any internal system prevents this type of fraud by requiring all employees to be present at their scheduled work time. No one else can mark their attendance. This option does not compromise employee value proposition because workers will appreciate the freedom of being able to track their own time.

On-premise attendance systems may cost slightly more than cloud-based solutions upfront. However, the added security features and reliability in functioning as needed makes it worth the investment long-term. Also keep in mind that once you make the purchase, you are not renewing it like you would with cloud systems. This can make them more reasonably priced in the long run.

Many organizations follow trends of using hosted attendance software. This might help them, but ultimately, you must decide what will help your company. The benefits of an on-premise time and attendance system give you control over when, where and how data is used to help your company meet its business goals.

The Advantages Of Using Cloud Based HR Software

The Cloud human resource (HR) departments software were probably characterized by stacks of dusty folders where human resource policies, employee reviews, codes of conduct, and other strategic documents were stored. Trying to find and make use of some of those documents was an exercise in and of itself. The lack of digitalization tended to make human resource departments lethargic and less effective, especially once digital technologies began to take over other aspects of the business world.

Cloud

Today, digitalization technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud based computer software, and other aspects of our digitalized world have arrived to completely transform virtually every aspect of how businesses are operated, including human resource departments. Generation Z, widely considered to be the first “digital native” generation, will only further benefit from digital HR as they begin to enter the workforce in massive numbers in the coming years. Below, we offer a complete review of what digital HR entails, some potential applications in the human resource industry, some potential advantages for companies that adopt digital HR strategies, and then finish by offering some simple suggestions for getting started with digital HR adoption.

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What is Digital HR?

Simply put, digital HR is the process of transforming human resources processes and services with the use of digital technologies. Some of these technologies can include software analytics, artificial intelligence, and cloud technologies (SMAC). The exact applications will largely depend on the operations of HR departments in different industries and companies. However, the digitalization of these HR services and processes follows from the more extensive digitalization of all business processes in general.

The objective of digital HR is multifold. Firstly, digital HR services and processes are meant to increase the efficiency of business operations, enhance employee experience, and help companies find and manage a talented workforce in order to meet certain business goals. Whereas traditional HR was almost entirely paper-based (and thus a labor intensive and time consuming activity), the digitalization of HR is meant to radically improve efficiency through mobile, optimized, and digitalized processes. It seeks to help companies stay successful in increasingly competitive markets through taking advantage of streamlined, more powerful analytic tools that are transforming the way businesses operate.

How has Digital HR Changed the Human Resources Industry?

Finding and retaining quality and high talent employees is key to the success of any business. Younger employees who have grown up in a digitalized world will most likely scoff at companies whose HR departments continue to implement paper-based employee services. Filling out endless forms and documents as part of periodic evaluations or applications for employee benefits will come across as old fashioned and out of date, and might drive away younger talent that is in search of companies willing to embrace the latest technological developments.

Digital HR practices, then, can be implemented to improve employee engagement and retention. Seamless online application programs make it much less burdensome for high quality talent to find job offerings and apply from the comfort of their home. Furthermore, digital HR can also actively recruit employee talent through social media channels. Social media can also be utilized by companies who adopt digital HR strategies for continued employee learning programs.

Younger generations who grew up in a digitalized world will enter the workforce expecting the ease and simplicity of digital services. The “consumerization” of human resource services is an added benefit of digital HR as it seeks to create a user friendly self-service option for employees looking to be proactive in the management of the HR services offered to them.

Furthermore, digital HR services and practices can also be implemented to improve human capital management. There are several digitalized and cloud based talent management software programs on the market today that are part of a wider digital HR strategy to increase the success of HR goals. For example, time and attendance software can be easily implemented to increase productivity and maximize profit through more efficient workforces.

Digital HR relies on a wide range of data and analytics that come with certain cloud based software. These programs measure the effectiveness of employee talent, performance, and contentment during every stage from recruitment to retirement.

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Some Potential Benefits/Advantages with Digital HR

The employee and talent management systems that are a central part of digital HR are designed for maximum efficiency and come with automatic upgrades as the industry progresses. Improved automation reduces the possibility for human error in the management of a workforce. Furthermore, digital HR offers real time data input thus allowing HR administrators to evaluate and change certain strategies and policies that aren´t working.

At the same time, the digitalization of human resources can allow for connections between different business departments. This allows other stakeholders within a company to be engaged with HR policies that affect their operations. Thus, digital HR can help more stakeholders become involved and engaged with overarching business goals.

As we mentioned above, digital HR services can also be oriented towards employee services and benefits. Allowing employees to digitally access and manage their HR data is useful, especially in industries with younger employees who have come to expect this greater sense of control. At the same, time, allowing employees to access their HR data such as employee evaluations and talent management allows for a more transparent workplace environment.

As digital HR technology continues to advance, software programs and artificial intelligence technology will be able to offer services to measure virtually every part of the employee life cycle.

How to Get Started with Digital HR

There is little doubt that the digitalization of HR services and processes bring numerous benefits to both companies and their employees. However, we are a long way from the complete automation of HR services. Companies looking to take advantage of digital HR need to find and train talented HR employees who will know how to make the most of the wide range of software, analytics, and AI tools at their disposal.

Furthermore, instead of attempting a complete makeover of an HR department, companies would do well to start small. An internal evaluation can help companies discover which aspects of their HR department could most benefit from a digital remodeling. For example, if your current payroll management system is working, but you are having trouble recruiting high talent employees, introducing digital HR technologies that allow your company to discover and connect with talent might be a good starting point for digital HR transformation.

5 Key Benefits Of Recruitment Software in Businesses

Effective recruiting is an important key to success for all small businesses. Recruiting can be a continuous process as SME businesses grow and change. While candidates are often recruited to fill certain positions, many companies are always on the lookout for new talent.

businesses

What does your company’s recruiting system look like? Do you have standard processes? Do you find your HR team spends too much time on recruiting with too little effort? Do your recruiting tactics target the sought-after millennials who are looking for specific perks or career development? To enhance your recruiting methods, you might want to look into HR recruitment software for your small business that can help you reach the right candidates and get them on your team.

Benefits of Recruitment Software for Small Businesses

If your HR team is trying to manage recruitment through an outdated program, you need to consider a new system. There is recruitment software for small businesses available that can take much of the recruitment legwork off their shoulders and improve communication to the potential team members you’d like to hire. Here are five key benefits that you and your HR team will be able to take advantage of if you implement one of these systems.

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Easy Applicant Tracking

Have you ever found that your HR team has hired an employee only to realize down the road they missed a more qualified applicant? Have you decided to hire a certain recruit only to find you’ve misplaced his application or contact info? Keeping track of applicants can be tough, especially if you are hiring for a popular position.

It’s possible to have hundreds of applications that can easily be lost or misplaced. Having a system in place that keeps track of all applicants and sorts them for you is very valuable. Track and sort by the position applied for, a candidate’s qualifications, training, interview notes, and more. This makes it easy for your HR team to narrow down candidates and compare them head-to-head.

Secure Cloud-Based Storage

Keeping applicant records secure should be an important part of your recruiting process. This can be hard to do with traditional paper applications kept in a filing cabinet. Going paperless in your HR department is a good idea for many reasons, one of them being security. Although important in all industries, security really takes center stage if you are in the healthcare field or any other field that works with highly sensitive information.

If applications get into the wrong hands, information like social security numbers, salary details, and home addresses can be leaked. This can lead to dangerous situations for applicants and lawsuits for your company. Cloud-based storage also protects against any natural disasters or other incidents that could occur at your office and destroy documents.

All Hours Access

One of the benefits of enterprise mobility in the modern workplace is the ability to access information when and where you need it. If you are making hiring decisions, you may need to look at applicant information at nights or weekends. You may also want to access information from remote locations.

An HR software program will allow you to do so. You can also give access to relevant members of your HR department. This lets them see the information when they need to. Having information handy will let you make more informed decisions on new recruits.

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Internal & External Recruiting

Do you recruit both within your company and externally? You should. Many superstar team members may already be working for you. It is important to give them the chance to move up when positions are available. To keep track of those who might qualify, you need an efficient system for existing employee records retention. This lets you easily take a look at what skilled employees you currently have on your team, and identify those who excel.

You can quickly take a look at their training, any performance reviews they’ve had, and whether they have already applied for promotion. You can then compare them with external recruits to see which would be a better fit.

Automated Communication

How do you currently talk to your potential new hires? Do they know what the next steps are? Do you have any easy way to contact them if you need more details or would like them to come in for an interview? Do you inform them when you have decided to give the position to a different candidate? Having a system that offers automated communication can help streamline this process.

By setting a few details, you can let the system do its job and eliminate some of the manual paperwork for your team. You can also be sure that processes are the same with all new and potential recruits.

How To Engage Employees With These 7 Programs

A lot of large businesses programs concentrate on finding and hiring the most talented workers to help them propel their company forward. They spend countless hours building a strong recruitment strategy.

Programs

For most, this includes:

  • Figuring out the specific needs of their company
  • Crafting the perfect job descriptions
  • Optimizing their online job postings
  • Culling through applications to find the best candidates
  • Interviewing candidates to discover the best fit
  • Hiring that perfect person

Recruitment is an integral part of any successful company, but especially so for large companies. However, many companies stop once the hiring has taken place, and that’s a mistake.

Employee retention is just as important, if not more so, than recruitment. Hiring can be expensive, not just in terms of money spent on finding the right employees, but the cost of the work lost when someone leaves.

The Department of Labor and Industry says the cost of replacing an employee is about one-third of their salary, and that number only gets more expensive as you climb higher up the corporate ladder.

Turnover is expensive. So, how can companies counteract that and keep employees at their company for the long haul?

The answer is a successful, and creative, employee engagement plan. Nowadays, employees don’t just want a good salary, health benefits, paid-time off and a retirement plan. They are also looking for other benefits that make them want to not only come to work, but stay at your company for a long time.

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Here are 7 Employee Engagement Ideas for your large organization:

  1. Have Healthy Options at Work

The health of employees should be of the utmost concern to a company, especially today when the costs of providing health insurance have skyrocketed. Many large organizations offer an employee cafeteria somewhere in the building, but not many offer healthy eating options.

This is one area where your company could stand out among the rest. This is not just about having a salad bar, but offering other healthy foods that are high in protein and low in fat, as well as gluten-free options.

  1. Keep Your Employees “In the Know”

Employees want to feel like they’re part of the team, not just another number. It can be extremely easy for large organizations to treat employees without a sense of human touch because there are so many people, but don’t let your company fall into this trap.

Share information about the company with all of your employees on a regular basis. This includes not only how the company is doing, but what directions it plans to take in the next year and further into the future, and welcome input from all of your employees. This will make them feel like the work they’re doing is important.

  1. Involve Employees in the Process

This point goes back to being a number. Employees want to be involved, and they want their voices to be heard. So, why not let them do so?

This can be done through employee engagement surveys, or in more informal settings such as feedback meetings with supervisors or larger teams of people at the organization. Not only will this make employees feel empowered, you might also get some great ideas.

  1. Focus on More Than Just Work

Yes, these are your employees we’re talking about here, but as an employer at a large organization, it’s crucial nowadays that you focus on giving your employees a work-life balance. Providing this work-life balance reduces stress and actually makes employees feel more rested and energized when they’re working.

Some examples of ways to do this could be flexible hours, a work-from-home scenario (if even part of the time) or just showing compassion for everyday things that come up in life.

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  1. Say “Well Done”

Today’s employees aren’t just motivated by raises and promotions. They want more out of a job than just money. Similarly, they aren’t keen on fear or on doing something “because it’s their job.”

Instead, employees want to be appreciated. Thanking them for all the work they do, and praising them when they do a great job, is an easy way to boost employee engagement.

Take it a step further and even publicly praise the good work by your employees, and others will be motivated to work hard, too.

  1. Have Fun at Work

Team-building exercises have been around for a long time at large organizations, and there’s a good reason why – they work. Having employees socialize with each other (and with their superiors) helps inject a human element into the workplace.

To do this, consider not just having after-hours get-togethers, but also fun activities outside of the office during normal working hours. Maybe an outing to the bowling alley or some creative activity would be a good fit for your organization.

These outings will not only allow employees to have fun; they’ll also help build respect and teamwork.

  1. Promote an Open Office Environment

One of the best ways to promote an open office environment is to simply open up the office physically. If your company still has those old cubicles, get rid of them – or at least transition to the half-wall cubicles that you can see over.

You don’t want your employees to feel like they’re in a closed-off box, forced to work hard with their head down at all times. Promote communication and openness by presenting an open-air environment.

What BI Tool Gets the Upper Hand in 2019?

For those wondering what exactly brought Microsoft’s product to such a success, it might be hard to establish one single factor.

Many might assume that it’s not merely Power BI’s advancement—it’s more about Tableau’s uncertain future. As less than a month ago Salesforce announced its purchase of Tableau for quite a heavy sum, many started to doubt what the future holds for this BI platform.What

 

At the same time, it’s possible that Power BI’s great performance is mostly due to Microsoft’s constant investment into the tool. Indeed, for the last 12 months, Power BI has been continuously releasing monthly updates, improving reporting, modeling, data preparation, and other features. Its advancing functionality and relatively affordable price might have assured Power BI’s success over the rather expensive Tableau.

Whatever the reasons behind these market positions, there is little ground to assume that Tableau will wait long until it fires back. The history of “Tableau vs Power BI” debate is as old as the hills, and it’s unlikely to end so soon.

A Short History of Tableau and Power BI Competition

Released in 2003, Tableau didn’t wait long before becoming the gold standard in data visualization. With its sophisticated functionality, the tool literally ranked second to none. Indeed, Gartner recognized it as a leader among BI tools for seven consecutive years between 2012 and 2019. Besides, it seems like users feel right at home with Tableau: as stated on their website, the tool serves over 70,000 organizations globally.

Speaking of Power BI, it saw the light later, in 2011. Released as a part of the Microsoft pack, it picked up a lot from Excel, resembling a bunch of its add-ons combined with charts and dashboard sharing. As Microsoft continuously enhanced the tool, it shortly became quite a rival to Tableau, going up against it in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

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Tableau vs Power BI, Eventually Side-by-Side

All said above might look confusing: the global interest shows that Tableau is more in demand, but the reputable Gartner states Power BI is a hands-down leader. This tendency leaves many wondering whether Tableau is dropping off at all.

To try answering these concerns objectively and to finally bring this issue to the close, we made a side-by-side comparison of the tools. Indeed, we compared the current functionality of Tableau and Microsoft Power BI, looked at the tools’ performance with data, scrutinized their flexibility, availability and usability, and, finally, checked their price lists. This is what we got.

Overall Functionality and Data Visualization

Generally speaking, both Tableau and Power BI have quite the same capabilities. Indeed, it’s pretty hard to detect any bells and whistles in Power BI that miss in Tableau, and vice versa. As visualization and dashboard creation remain the central functions of these tools, both of them deliver more than 20 different types of baseline visualizations, including heat maps, line charts, scatter plots, histograms, packed bubbles, and others.

However, many believe that in terms of data visualization, Tableau is still a cut above Power BI. Due to Tableau’s ten-year head start, the tool has certain tiny but pretty valuable features that are absent in Power BI. For example, Tableau provides opportunities for visualizing geographical data with maps and including graphics in tables. What is more, Tableau allows using different forecasting models.

Regarding dashboard creation, both tools use drag-and-drop: a user simply needs to drag a visualization item and put it in an empty spot on the dashboard. Although Tableau traditionally offers more flexibility in dashboard design, Power BI is no less a handy tool here. Besides, it has quite a valuable feature missing in Tableau: with the focus mode, a user can zoom any visualization they want to see closer. With the visualization zoomed, users can interact with it and, consequently, generate more in-depth insights from their dashboard.

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Data Performance

As a time-tested tool, Tableau boasts a large list of external data sources. Indeed, the tool offers support for online analytical processing, big data, and cloud options. It also has Web Connector supporting its integration with Marketo, Microsoft SQL Server, and other systems.

As for Power BI, its range of data sources seems no less sophisticated. Indeed, it’s possible to name at least 70 of them. Although some of Power BI’s connectors might still be in the beta testing stage, it’s typically not a big deal for users as Microsoft continuously releases updates and improves the available data sources.

Flexibility, Availability, Support

In practice, Power BI’s biggest pitfall is its tight integration with the Microsoft stack and Microsoft Azure in particular. Such integration might be very convenient for active users of Microsoft’s enterprise-grade products. At the same time, it makes Power BI not very flexible in deployment. For users needing to use Power BI independently of the Microsoft stack, this tight integration can become a stumbling block.

The good news is that Power BI provides the option of using it on its own, albeit at a price. Power BI’s more expensive Premium account offers an on-premise solution but requires installing Power BI Server and SQL Server regardless.

Tableau proves to be more flexible—one can install the Tableau on any Windows-run device and use it without Microsoft SQL Server.

As for availability, Power BI is a SaaS product with an on-premise option available only in the Premium license. Tableau also requires users to purchase a subscription to install the product either on-premises or in the cloud.

Usability

Those users in love with Microsoft products and familiar with their interface will definitely take a liking to Power BI. It is especially true after the tool’s latest update in June, as Microsoft has made Power BI look and work much more like a Microsoft application.

Indeed, the tool has new Office-like panes, footer, icons, and colors. Microsoft also promises to add a new default theme for reporting and an “object grouping” feature in September 2019. The latter strongly reminds PowerPoint’s function of grouping objects on the report page, moving and resizing them as containers.

Big Data in Ecommerce: 5 Remarkable Use Cases

Every day, we send 294 billion emails, 500 million tweets, and 65 Cases billion messages over WhatsApp alone. These numbers are humongous to the point of being unimaginable.

Cases

The question is, what can ecommerce companies do with that rising sea of information? This article offers some answers.

Big Data Is Instrumental to Ecommerce Growth

The analytical capabilities that big data brings to the table are disrupting all industries, including ecommerce. Online vendors engage ecommerce development services to weave big data analytics tools into their e-shops and marketplaces and tap the ensuing benefits that include:

  • Optimization of back-office processes
  • Enhancement of customer-facing operations
  • Streamlined supply chain management
  • Fraud identification and prevention in customer transactions
  • Increased competitiveness with dynamic pricing

Let’s dive into how ecommerce vendors can attain these goals with big data.

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The Application of Big Data in Ecommerce

Let’s take a look at some of the most relevant and promising applications of advanced analytics and big data in ecommerce. These big data use cases can help ecommerce companies like yours drive operational change and inspire some future implementations.

1. Demand Forecasting

At the core of big data lies data analytics, i.e. the practice of utilizing data analysis technologies and statistical models to create predictions and evaluations underlying informed decision-making.

Predictive analytics is used to assess the likelihood of various events occurring in the future based on a variety of factors, but big data systems can also provide insights into past events (through descriptive analytics), enhance decision-making by collating predictions and possible outcomes, and come up with the suggested course of action (prescriptive analytics).

Data analytics has a wide range of applications, covering clinical decision support systems, enhancement of marketing campaigns, fraud detection, and project management. In ecommerce, big data is the cornerstone of demand forecasting.

2. Pricing Optimization

Price is one of the main factors driving purchase decisions among online shoppers, which makes it one of the key success enablers for ecommerce companies. The right pricing can be determined based on different analytical techniques, including market segmentation, competitor analysis, or targeting strategy. In order for these approaches to work and bring more profit, they have to rely on tangible data. The larger the data pool, the greater the chances of hitting the bull’s eye with pricing.

By extending big data’s predictive capabilities, digital retailers can find their pricing sweet spot. Big data analysis engines extract price-affecting data from a variety of consumer touchpoints and other sources to calculate the price that offers customers the best deals while maintaining the highest possible margin. They do these calculations automatically and in real time based on defined algorithms and parameters, which helps e-store owners make more strategic, data-backed pricing decisions.

3. Supply Chain Management

Today, supply management wouldn’t exist without big data, as supply chain operations are becoming more complex and involve an increasing number of products, processes, and agents. This is especially true for ecommerce businesses that operate in the global market, as their supply chain gets stretched in time and complexity. Thanks to its powerful ability to draw meaningful insights from overwhelming datasets, big data solutions provide a wealth of process improvement opportunities for ecommerce in the area of supply chain management.

4. Customer Experience

There’s no doubt that personalized experience is critical to positive customer perception of any ecommerce store. Businesses that meet or, even better, exceed, customer expectations, demonstrate higher retention and conversion scores and drive greater profit. The competition in the ecommerce market is stifling, and it is encouraging more sophisticated consumer demands. Online brands that excel at engaging their buyers and prospects are the ones that precisely know what consumers need and deliver that to them quickly. To achieve that aim, they need to gather, analyze, and understand relevant data.

Tools delivering customer insights have been around since the beginning of marketing (surveys, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups), yet they traditionally involved various challenges, such as sample size and selection bias. Big data solutions allow companies to eliminate these inefficiencies and capture customer needs, feedback, and expectations competently and automatically.

5. Secure Online Payments

Ecommerce vendors do their best to make buying online easier than ever for consumers. They add new purchase channels, such as mobile apps or social media marketplaces, to reach out to their audiences wherever they are. They also strive to simplify the buying process by investing in user-friendly interfaces, reducing the number of steps to finalize the purchase, and providing support for diverse payment methods.

Unfortunately, along with these innovations comes an increasing number of associated threats. The broader choice of paying options creates more opportunities for cybercriminals to find weak spots and vulnerabilities.

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The Bottom Line

The success of any retail enterprise, be it offline or online, has always depended on data-centricity. Only by knowing what exactly customers expect and understanding how their organizations work in every aspect, can e-vendors offer the right products to the right people at the right time.

Big data took data analysis to a whole different level: from manual to automated; from small batches of data at a time to massive data volumes handled within minutes; from arduous and error-prone manual processes to almost instant and highly-reliant insights and feedback.

The Benefits of using Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool that puts the marketer in control of their digital marketing. It enables marketers to update all their website tags directly from Google Tag Manager instead of editing site codes – which reduces errors, removes having to involve a webmaster and lets you quickly deploy tags onto your site.

Google Tag

Google Tag Manager makes adding and managing marketing tags possible without digging into the code.

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What are the benefits of using Google Tag Manager?

According to Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media, only 41.4% of the top 200 marketing websites are using Google Tag Manager. GTM has a number of different benefits including

1. Ease of use
GTM authorises team members to make updates and add new tags quickly and easily. This reduces the need for developers which saves you time and money. It also enables you to make more rapid decisions.

2. Improves your website speed

GTM takes all the tracking codes in your header tag and combines them into one Javascript file which speeds up the load time of your page

3. Allows you to do Advanced Tracking

The greatest benefit that GTM brings is the ability to make advanced tracking possible for your website. Google Tag Manager supplies many inbuilt tags and variables through which you can enforce advanced tracking in a short space of time

4. Extremely Efficient

When using GTM you can add, edit, enable, disable and remove all website tags from one location

5. GTM is completely free to use

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How Xtremepush integrates with Google Tag Manager

Xtremepush is now live on Google Tag Manager. Xtremepush is the first Irish company, and the only Web Push certified vendor globally, on GTM.

Integrating with Xtremepush has never been easier. GTM allows enterprise brands to easily integrate with Xtremepush in three easy steps. First, select the Xtremepush tag ‘Xtremepush – Web Push & Onsite Engagement’ template on Google Tag Manager. Input the Xtremepush App Key, which is provided by the Xtremepush team. Google Tag Manager will then automatically generate the correct code to access the platform.

About Xtremepush

The Xtremepush Web Push & Onsite Engagement channels enable enterprises to instantly engage with their website users. Our platform is designed to enable your customers to opt-in for web push notifications from your website with one frictionless click. Enterprises will increase customer retention through delivering targeted Web Push campaigns at each stage of the user journey. Also, drive online conversion rates as you can re-engage with your customers at optimal times. Xtremepush engagement channels include Web Push, Email, Pop-ups, In Web Messages, SMS and WebHook.

Build vs Buy: Turnkey Solutions or Custom Software?

The build vs buy is a common dilemma faced by businesses implementing new enterprise software. Balancing immediate business needs with long-term growth is both paramount and challenging. Ultimately, it comes down to devoting significant resources to custom software development or leveraging turnkey solutions.

build

The ideal solution is to partner with one contractor that provides either a full custom service or turnkey package. Whether looking at turnkey solutions or something customised, it is important to map out exactly what you want the software to do and the processes it will follow. As you start the decision-making process, the golden rule is to understand your business needs and make sure the solution is a good fit. Once you understand the business requirements and how the new software will address this, it is time to consider your options. Here are 3 key types of enterprise software solutions:

  1. Off-the-shelf Software
  2. Customised Software
  3. Customised Off-the-Shelf Solutions

Off-the-Shelf Software

Off-the-shelf software can be described as a ‘turnkey’ or ‘boxed’ solution. A turnkey solution is ready to use and can be immediately and easily implemented into current business processes. These types of solutions are aimed at addressing distinct needs that are often targeted towards specific companies or industries. As such, these solutions are feature-rich however may include functionalities your business does not need.

Turnkey solutions can give businesses the necessary boost to perform more efficiently and productively. More specifically, off-the-shelf software can reduce total project time, create more efficient workflows, and offer ongoing support. This approach to enterprise software is considered are ideal for businesses with a:

  • Limited budget. The costs associated with building custom software may be a significant reason for businesses to avoid choosing this option. Turnkey solutions are less expensive and quicker and easier to implement.
  • Lack of technical proficiency. If your business does not have a strong software team with the necessary skills to build custom software, it may make sense to choose a turnkey solution.
  • Lack of time. Building proprietary software takes a great deal of time to complete successfully. If time is limited, then a turnkey solution may be a better choice.

For example, hospitals often lack the time and resources to create all the content they need to implement a full patient engagement platform. So, an off-the-shelf solution with key clinical pathways already developed for major treatment plans might be an ideal solution.

As mentioned above, there are strong benefits when considering an off-the-shelf solution; primarily the low up-front cost. Turnkey solutions are generally more affordable due to their development costs being distributed across several clients. However, keep in mind that these types of solutions may come with recurring fees for software maintenance and support.

Off-the-shelf software comes with pre-ordained processes and functionality. One of the downsides of this and the lack of customisation is that it may not be a perfect fit for your needs. In this case, business processes may have to be adjusted to fit the software. Therefore, when considering turnkey solutions, it is imperative that the features of the software capture your business needs. As a general rule of thumb, try to find a software provider that can satisfy at least 80% of your businesses requirements. Remember to consider what you are not getting in the software and ask questions like:

What business requirements won’t be addressed? How will these be managed?

Will you be able to adjust your processes to account for these? Could this create inefficiencies?

Keep in mind, that with turnkey solutions, future software updates will often be targeted at a broader base and may come at a slower pace than your business evolves.

Pros

  • Lower up-front cost
  • Feature-rich
  • May meet most of your business needs
  • Support is often included
  • Quicker to deploy
  • All design, development, QA/testing is handled by the vendor
  • Upgrades to software may be free or offered at a reduced cost
  • Reduced risk if your business lacks software expertise or has little industry knowledge

Cons

  • May come with upgrade or maintenance costs, licensing fees, or per-seat costs
  • May not meet all business needs
  • May include features and functions that are not wanted or needed
  • Business processes might have to be altered to match the software’s functionality
  • There may be infrastructure/platform requirements that your business cannot support – or can with additional cost
  • It may have high customisation costs or be impossible to customise
  • Future enhancements may not be relevant to your business
  • Slow to evolve with your business or industry and may lack scalability

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Fully Customised Software

So you have clearly defined your business needs, processes, and desired functionality, and compared these to a number of off-the-shelf solutions. However, none appear to be a good enough fit for your business… In this case, it may be worthwhile considering a custom development approach. This will allow your business, or the hired software development company, to create a custom piece of software that meets every need; a fully integrated and holistic solution to match your business processes.

According to Forbes, building custom software can unlock a host of benefits. However, companies should only pursue this approach if:

  • Customised software can provide a competitive advantage relative to your competitors.
  • You are building a large business that can spread the cost of a proprietary system over a large number of clients.

Just like off-the-shelf solutions, there are downsides and risks to custom development. Developing proprietary software can allow your businesses to scale effectively. However, significant resources must be dedicated to the development, and this can be expensive. Since the software is built to match your business requirements, this increases both project costs and timeline. The longer it takes to develop your software, unsurprisingly, the more upfront costs it will incur. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that there are significant business resources available before embarking on custom software development. If the initial costs of custom development are too high, or the timeline for deployment is too long, it may be better to start small and layer functionality over time. This is known as a phased approach and will allow you to distribute the costs and deploy the core functionality sooner.

Custom development allows the software to fit your business, instead of your business adapting to fit the software. As a result, work processes will not need to be adjusted in order to accommodate the new system, which ultimately saves time and money. However, there is still the risk that the software might not be able to match every need.

A custom software project will most likely require the use of external resources such as a team of designers, programmers, quality control professionals and so on. One added risk of this approach is the level of dependency on the software company you choose to partner with. It is therefore essential to be well informed about potential vendors, their expertise, and their stability. When considering an external developer, ask questions like:

Have they developed similar systems before?

Are they taking steps to understand your business needs?

Can they support you with help-desk, updates, bug fixes, and future enhancements post-launch?

The software developer in charge of your custom solution will essentially act as an extension of your team, in what should be a lasting partnership. This availability of direct support can ultimately lead to quicker enhancements and iterations, ensuring the software does not become obsolete. Since the software belongs to your business, you do not have to wait for feature requests or enhancements. Therefore, custom solutions provide the opportunity to evolve your software alongside your business.

Developing custom software will also require you to create a small internal team to manage the various stages of development. This is an important factor to consider as you will need to dedicate adequate resources to the lengthy process of development.

Custom solutions have to be extensively planned as they become part of your business’s future growth. It is important to remember that a customised solution isn’t for everyone, nor is it a perfect match for every need. But the fact that custom solutions have the opportunity to meet each business requirement is advantageous. As long as you are aware of the risks and are able to mitigate them then custom software development might be a suitable solution for your business.

Pros

  • Custom solutions are tailored to match business needs, processes, and security requirements
  • You can implement a phased approach starting with the core essentials and add other features or functions at a later stage
  • Can be developed using your business’s software language and infrastructure/platform
  • Allows you to integrate with legacy software and future systems
  • You own the propriety software
  • Custom software may be a possible competitive advantage
  • Direct vendor support available
  • Provides an evolving solution that can stay current with your business – no obsolescence
  • Changes can be made quickly

Cons

  • Higher upfront costs and consequently higher risks
  • Changes and feature requests may be billable
  • Requires developer sources (with inherited risks)
  • Requires developer communication during the software development cycle: requirements, design, development, QA/testing, and training will require business involvement

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Customised Off-the-Shelf Solutions

A software company may have developed a turnkey solution that, with little customisation, will meet your specific business needs. There are some software providers that offer this customisable support, allowing you to start with a strong foundation and tweak platform to fit your needs. This way, they can leverage their off-the-shelf software and customise it to create a new tailored solution for your business; getting the best of both worlds.

A customised off-the-shelf approach is a viable route if the software provides a lot of what you are looking for and only some critical functionalities are missing. This type of solution has the advantages of low-cost entry and feature-rich software that aligns with your business requirements. In other words, this approach de-risks involvement and is a cost-efficient way to leverage the power of customisation without incurring the same development costs. However, keep in mind that off-the-shelf software customised after-the-fact may become less cost-efficient depending on the level of customisation required. Therefore, it is important to pick a solution that fits 80% of your core businesses needs to avoid over-customisation, inflated costs and potential performance problems.

Similar to custom development, there is the option to implement a phased approach, starting small and layering functionality over time. This will allow you to distribute the costs and deploy the core functionality of the software sooner.

Pros

  • Leveraging feature-rich pre-existing libraries, frameworks and functionality reduces upfront costs and lowers risk
  • You can start with the core essentials and add features and functions later at any time
  • The solution is tailored to match business needs, processes, and security requirements
  • Can be developed using a software language and infrastructure/platform matching your business vs. those of a ‘mass market’ nature
  • Possible integration with legacy and future systems
  • Possible competitive advantage due to a level of customisation
  • Direct vendor support
  • Changes can be made quickly

Cons

  • The level of customisation determines the costs – if over-customisation occurs then the costs may turn out to be similar to that of custom development
  • Changes and feature requests may be billable
  • Software may come with upgrade costs, licensing fees, or per-seat costs
  • Missing features and functions may not be possible to add through customisation
  • If the base solution is not a good fit for your business then you may be trying to over customise pre-existing tools and leveraging less of the off-the-shelf software

If your business requirements can be met to a large degree by an off-the-shelf product, with minimal adjustments, then a customised off-the-shelf solution may be the most efficient and feasible approach.

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