Capterra: software purchasing trends and insights
Answering six questions reflecting on trends in the previous year and her predictions for the year ahead - 2021 - Sonia Navarrete, Content Analyst at Capterra discusses the software purchasing industry.
What technology and/or approaches have you seen emerge in the industry due to COVID-19? How do these compare to before the outbreak?
Most purchase decisions made during the crisis were decisions based on patching up, for example implementing software that allows employees to work from home when the lockdown began. This has impacted the way companies have based their software purchase decisions. showed that over half of decision-makers have been forced to invest in new software due to the pandemic.
Therefore, it is not a surprise that the most popular software that companies are using are remote desktop software, live chat software and video conferencing software. In addition, many have had to change their business offering to adapt to the crisis. For example, companies offering events are now offering virtual events via streaming and real estate companies are offering virtual tours using specialised software instead of in-person ones.
What are your predictions for the industry in 2021 and beyond?
One of the consequences of the pandemic has been that many businesses have had to move their business online to be able to continue to operate. Retaining employees and maintaining employee productivity are two of the main concerns for almost half of the managers.
HR leaders should identify the area of the business that has had the most significant changes and have a higher need for skills. Training staff to develop skills that will be needed in the new working environment and looking after the employees’ career paths will be as critical for the day-to-day operations as having the correct infrastructure in place.
Also, remote work will become the norm, and employers will expand their talent pool thanks to it, allowing candidates with perhaps better-suited skills to apply for a job with them regardless of the location, something that before the pandemic would have not been considered.
What are the current challenges in the industry?
COVID-19 has shown the importance of having a business continuity plan, but having the right software is almost as vital. A Capterra study showed that a third of decision-makers didn’t have a business continuity plan in their company before the pandemic. Having a solid plan for unexpected events is crucial. The price of not having a plan can mean loss of data and making the business more vulnerable.
In addition, this crisis has shown that decision-makers need help with choosing the right software. The same study also found that a third of decision-makers in SMEs are at the interest stage level— they know the software they need, but they need to research products that fit their business needs.
We have seen how for many businesses the crisis has meant money loss or, even worse, closing down. Learning from previous experience will help companies to assess the mistakes made during a crisis and create a solid contingency plan that will help them in case of a new one.
How have you seen your industry evolve this year?
The pandemic has not only impacted the software buying decisions in companies but also, in some cases, it has proved how software can be critical to help them change their business model to be able to keep operating. In addition, the lack of solid contingency plans led a large number of SMEs to invest in a rush in software looking at ensuring business continuity.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.