The leap from the past into the digital age was a long and difficult one, but nowadays, there are very few businesses that rely on traditional methods. For instance, there aren’t many businesses nowadays that don’t have an email server for communication purposes, and there are even fewer that still rely on paper documents for archival purposes.
This transition was largely due to the accessibility of computers and software giants that quickly established themselves as the industry standard. For instance, Microsoft quickly took over Apple when it came to the operating systems market. In fact, Microsoft currently has almost 84% share in the operating system market while OS X is sitting around 11%. This dominance quickly led to Microsoft overpowering their primary competitor and became the gold standard when it came to cheap and reliable performance in computing.
This trend continued as business owners switched from traditional pen and paper workflows to digital ones. Sadly, since computer technology was growing at such a fast rate and startups took a while to catch up, most people stuck to whatever software they could get their hands on or whatever was introduced to them by more experienced business owners. For a long time, Microsoft’s office suite package was perhaps the only tool that people used for their office tasks. Nowadays, Microsoft is still going strong with their Office 365 package, but competitors are starting to appear, offering cheaper and more efficient software packages to deal with regular office jobs.
Thanks to open source software and cheaper alternatives that are targeted towards the budget-conscious, we now have such a wider variety of software that it can be difficult to pick what to use. In addition to the variety of choice, we also need to think about specialised software. For example, even as an operating system, Microsoft Windows isn’t the only one in use and it’s recommended to use alternatives such as Linux for server-based computing, and OS X for creativity. These operating systems can be considered as specialised software, but what are the pros and cons of regular software packages?
The advantages of using specialised software
Specialised software can target specific industries. For instance, if you’re starting a medical practice, then you would look at telehealth technology to manage your staff and clients. This is far better than using a spreadsheet to keep track of that information and it’s a lot faster than pen and paper. Similarly, restaurants use different variations of catering software in order to make taking orders and sending them to the kitchen a lot easier. Since the software is designed to be used by your chosen industry, the support and advice you get from the developer is guaranteed to be helpful and relevant, thus giving you plenty of assistance.
The drawbacks of specialised software
Specialised software can be incredibly expensive depending on your needs, and it’s also not good for flexibility. For instance, if you’re focused on collecting data, then you could always use a specialised application for it, but it’s generally easier and more flexible to use a spreadsheet to keep track of values. Similarly, if you only need software for general tasks such as writing up documents, then it’s easier to rely on basic office applications like Office 365 or even Google Docs as your daily driver. In short, specialised software should only be considered if you have a very specific task or niche use for it.