So, you have decided to purchase online time and attendance software for your organization, but now what? How do you evaluate the different platforms and decide on the best fit for your company? There are many different options available, and while there are many similarities, there are also features and capabilities that differ. You want to ensure that you select a piece of software that meets your needs and offers all the functionality that you need now and perhaps even into the future.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when starting to evaluate online time and attendance software.
One of the first things you want to look at is the behind the scenes architecture of the software. Will the software require you to purchase and maintain servers at your location or is it a cloud-based app that can be accessed from anywhere? This decision makes a huge difference in the way your software will be implemented and used.
While there are some benefits to an on-premise solution, such as higher security and data integrity, there are also many tradeoffs. The overall cost of ownership and maintenance of an on-premise solution can be more than some companies are willing to spend.
Generally speaking, a cloud-based application is a preferred architecture today for several reasons. One, your employees can access it from anywhere they have an internet connection, so that means they can record their time regardless of where they are working.
Next, cloud-based applications require little maintenance because they are updated by your service provider with little or no effort on your part. Lastly, cloud applications usually have disaster recovery and redundancy built-in, so your online timecard system will always be available and have close to zero downtime.
Another important consideration when evaluating online time and attendance software is ease of use. Employees will generally be very hesitant to adopt a new time attendance clock if they are not easy to use.
Make sure that the layout and menus are intuitive, and that navigation is quick and straightforward. You can even check to see whether the solution supports creating custom screens and menus within the application specific to your needs. If the online timesheet software is too difficult to use, it will be difficult for it to catch on in your company.
Reporting capabilities are something that every online time clock software should have, so make sure that this functionality meets your needs. You want to make sure that the timesheet management software has built-in reports to handle your most common data needs as well as the ability to create custom reports specific to your organization. The ability to access this data is an especially important piece of using time software in the first place, so make sure the solution you choose has robust reporting functionality.
Make sure that you evaluate the support options available from the software provider after the purchase. How will they handle staff training? How will bugs or glitches in the software be handled, and how long will it take to fix them? Make sure that you are not trading a lower initial cost for decreased support down the road as the support of the software is usually much more expensive than the initial purchase. If you purchase software and are unable to use it because the company no longer supports it, then the software does you no good at all.
Finally, cost should be an important factor as you are evaluating online time and attendance software. Most companies are expecting to see a return on their investment when they make a purchase, so if the cost is too high, the return will not be positive. You must weigh the cost of the product against the features that it contains when comparing it to other products on the market. Select a good balance of cost versus features, while ensuring that the solution you choose contains all the features that you will require.