5) Web based or desktop based software
A web based solution has the following advantages over a desktop solution:
a) Manages our clinic from anywhere, anytime
b) No backups needed. Data is never lost. Storing clinic data locally is at risk from virus attacks and spyware.
c) Studies have revealed that more problems come up in desktop based software than web based products.
d) No installations and no downloads.
Contrary to common belief web based products are a lot safer, stable and scalable than the desktop based products.
4) Subscription model or onetime payment model
Most web based products are on the subscription model. There are a lot of products which provide a big list of features. However, most of them fail when it comes to implementation and subsequently, service. Paying in instalments or on a subscription model guarantees good service and higher commitment from the service provider. Onetime payment makes the provider lazy and incompetent.
3) Easy exit?
We must avoid products which try to lock their customer’s data in. A practical exit option is crucial and we also need to verify whether we can take away our data anytime in a usable format.
2) Focus on implementation first, not purchase
Rather than purchasing on impulse, it is always better to request for trial and a complete implementation before enrolling. How many people have bought a product is not important. Active users (customers using the product regularly) of the product matter and their experiences matter.
Last one…. a very important point
1) Number of features do not matter, Usability matters
We will never use all the features of the product. Usage of the product is dependent on what the product exactly does for you. In the long run, the product is useful if it solves some real problems faced by you.
Ask yourself –
a) ‘How usable is the product?’ .. Is it simple, easy to use?’
b) ‘Does it really solve any problems of mine?’
We could save a lot of money and effort if we asked ourselves these questions before buying an IT product for our practice.
Image credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/70781210@N00/3752228838/