When we need software to accomplish our objectives, the process of selecting the right one can be daunting. The plethora of options can make it difficult to determine which one is the best fit for our needs. What often makes the task even more complicated is the occurrence of bias. In this post, we will outline some of the most common biases that can influence the software selection process. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed choices that are free from bias.
Brand bias is the most prevalent type of bias in software selection. There are times when we’ll choose a software simply because it’s among the popular ones. While there’s nothing wrong with choosing a product from a popular brand, making this your only consideration is where bias comes in. Blindly following a brand means you may not be getting the features and functionality that better suit your needs. Make sure you look at all your options, even if they aren’t as popular as some of the bigger brands. With brand bias it’s easy to focus on the things they are known for, while forgetting the needs of the business. Ensure you are always going into software selection with an open mind and business requirements in hand. Remember salespeople will sell you what you ask for, not what you need.
Confirmation bias plays out when you’ve already made a decision, and you only search for information that confirms that the decision you’ve made is the right one. For instance, if you think that social media is the way to go for marketing your business, you’ll only research software products that confirm this. Avoid confirmation bias by taking the time to research multiple software solutions before ruling any of them out. There are dozens of great choices you may have never heard of before.
Talking of software solutions, bias can also arise from the price of a particular product. While this isn’t always the only factor, we sometimes use it as a proxy to indicate the quality of the product. However, expensive doesn’t always translate to quality and value; neither does a low price always indicate a poor product. Don’t let your bias to price hinder you from acquiring a high-quality software solution. Instead, focus on the value you’re getting and the problems it will solve as opposed to the price of the product.
Recommendation bias is also one that we should be mindful of. While it’s true that recommendations from family, friends and people who “know technology” can come in handy, the fact that somebody else recommended a product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you. The mistake here usually lies in that person not understanding your current state, what problem you are trying to solve, and what other technologies your business is using. Determining what is appropriate for your business can’t happen with a few conversations. Be sure always to do your research on the software solution before buying it and get a very clear picture of your current state internal operations. Additionally, check online reviews, blogs and various websites that offer product reviews before reaching a conclusion.
Lastly, there is the problem of feature bias. When it comes to software selection, more features don’t necessarily mean a better product. In fact, sometimes more features mean a more complicated user experience, and even increased cost for features that you’ll never use. Choose software solutions that offer features that align with your goals, and their implementation won’t be a bother for you or your staff.
Software selection is one of those tasks that can be fraught with bias. It’s imperative to recognize the biases that can impact your decision-making process when it comes to selecting software solutions. By being aware of the biases listed in this post, you can make informed decisions that are free of the most common bias, ensuring that you acquire software that best fits your needs. Remember, it’s not about the brand or hype; what’s essential is value and quality. Get a full picture of your current state to help you answer some of the questions you’ll need when looking for new software.
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