What software makes businesses successful?
The question of what software makes businesses successful is an important one, with obvious practical consequences. But it is also interesting intellectually.
There are many different definitions of what software does. Probably the most common is “to provide an interface between computers.” But “to provide an interface” is a convenient description, not a precise definition. It includes a wide range of different kinds of software, and before computers existed, interfaces existed without software. For example, telephone wires are an interface between telephones. But telephone wires do a lot more than provide an interface. They carry information. Computer programs do the same thing: they convey information.
Software can do far more than convey information. All kinds of things can be done by it. We can write software to do calculations, or play games, or entertain us, or give us information. But software can do more than that.
Right now, a business management software does the basic work of running businesses. It records transactions between people, or books inventories, or keeps track of schedules. In many businesses, the software is customized for each business, or for each customer.
But software can do more than run businesses. It can actually make companies. It can help companies make profits. It can make them more efficient. It can even make them that much more efficient that the profits go way up. Software can also make companies more profitable and more productive.
The differences between software that makes businesses run and software that makes companies run are not obvious.
What are the benefits software to a business?
The economic benefit of software is usually hard to measure. The software industry, for example, is good at measuring the length of lines of code. But the value of software is usually not in the lines of code, but in the results they enable.
Software is often expensive and complex. So it is hard to get precise measurements. But that’s not what industry does. Rather, it measures the reported numbers. So, for instance, software is usually “cost effective.” That’s because it is easier to measure the cost than the value of the results.
But there’s another way to measure software: by what it doesn’t cost.
Software can do a lot of things: accounting, marketing, scheduling, data analysis, and a thousand other things. But it can’t improve itself. So it’s no mystery why companies pay a lot for it. If, for instance, the staff management software can schedule 10 times as many people as the computer room it replaces, it will pay for itself. Software can also change: so, say, the software that assists airline pilots in their navigation can now automatically track the position of each plane and calculate delays, so passengers get to their flights on time.
Software can also improve. For example, it can analyze data already collected and suggest new questions.
Such software can do things computers don’t have the intelligence to do. For example, software can suggest a new market for a toothpaste, or a budget for a new advertising campaign. Software can also do things computers can’t do, but people can do. For example, software can automate the process of tracking sales, so a salesperson can concentrate on selling.
Why is software so important to modern businesses?
Leveraging software has long been central to business success. Yet software has only been steadily important since the 1960s. For most of the 20th century, businesses worked just fine without them. And even today, software is far from everything. Most businesses are not software companies. And most software companies are not software businesses. Most software companies make software that runs on hardware.
Software is in many ways the opposite of hardware. Hardware is tangible; software is not. Hardware exists. Software can disappear. Hardware is physical. Software is virtual. Hardware is obvious; software is not. Hardware is material. Software is not. Hardware needs a factory. Software needs no factory. Hardware is expensive. Software is cheap. Hardware is easy. Software is hard. Hardware is predictable. Software is unpredictable. Hardware can fail. Software never does. Hardware is static. Software is dynamic.
Software is invisible. Software is intangible. Software is abstract. Hardware is concrete. Software is digital. Hardware is analog. Hardware is tangible. Software is not.
Software changes constantly. Hardware doesn’t. Software runs on machines. Hardware doesn’t. Hardware is expensive. Software is expensive. Hardware is hard to use. Software is easy. Hardware isn’t. Hardware is predictable. Software is unpredictable. Hardware can fail. Software never does. Hardware is static. Software is dynamic. Hardware is physical. Software is virtual. Hardware is tangible. Software is not.
Why were businesses always successful without software? Because back then
What is the best business software online?
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