Growth Customer Experience Productivity Business IQ Trends Success Stories Tech Solutions Subscribe Tech Enquiry
Tech Solutions

Are you going to pay for that app?

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

As your company grows and develops, it’s important to understand the consequences of using free apps versus paid apps.

With dozens of freemium (basic services free of charge but advanced features cost money) and paid-for small business and enterprise apps to choose from, it can be tough to figure out what is good value, and what free tools are secure and feature-rich enough to meet your business’s needs. 

Woman on mobile phone on train

Is freemium worth it?

It’s true that using free apps or software can save a business thousands of dollars. For example, a Microsoft Office 365 licence can cost between $85-$210 a year (depending on whether you choose the basic Business Essentials, Business or Business Premium plan). Applications such as SharePoint, Excel, Word and PowerPoint come included, but if all you’re using it for are basic spread sheets and word processing, there are plenty of free alternatives you could use while keeping some money left in your wallet.

Google Drive offers a host of Cloud-based tools such as Docs (word processing), Sheets (an Excel equivalent) and Slides (an alternative to PowerPoint).

LibreOffice, an open-source suite of applications, is another free alternative to Office 365.

But choosing to go freemium rather than shell out a couple of hundred dollars a year will very much depend on how complex your business is, its responsibilities, customer base and what kind of data it handles. While apps such as those offered by Google Drive and LibreOffice cover the basics, they may not be practical alternatives to Microsoft Office 365 for most businesses. 

For more information on business apps, check out the Telstra Apps Marketplace here. 
Find Out More

Compliance, compliance, compliance

Depending on the size and type of business you run, the choice between free or paid can have a big impact on your compliance obligations.

Australia’s Privacy Act was recently amended so that from March 2016, companies are made liable for any data breaches committed by their offshore cloud providers. That means it’s essential you find out where your business data will be stored.

Some apps, whether you paid for them or not, will not meet Australia’s compliance regulations. It’s essential you do your due diligence before making any software decisions to help prevent your clients’ data falling into the wrong hands. 

Are you not using what you already have?

Before you go shopping for a new business app or software, look at what you already have in hand. It might already deliver what you need.

Ninety-three per cent of business enterprises are spending money on software that is underused or, worse, not being used at all, according to Flexera Software’s The State of the (Software) Estate: Waste Is Running Rampant in Enterprises report.

It could be worth investing in software asset management services to possibly avoid this problem. A software asset manager can help ensure your business is getting the most out of its apps, while also helping to confirm that you comply with privacy legislation in this area.

Here are eight of our favourite apps for working on the go.
Find Out More

Five tech trends for small business
Trends
Five tech trends for small business

In an increasingly connected world small businesses need to embrace technologies and tools that can make them stand out from their rivals, according to a Telstra Business Award...

Social media pages give small businesses a platform to show their products to a global audience of potential customers.
Growth
Growth
Not Perfect, but Small Business Still Needs Facebook

Privacy scandals and algorithm changes may have signaled the end of Facebook’s “golden age” as a marketing platform, but for most small businesses it is still an indispensable ...

Cyber security firm, Penten, celebrates winning the 2018 Telstra Business of the Year Award.
Success Stories
Success Stories
Prevention through deception Penten’s recipe for success

Canberra-based cyber security company, Penten, is the 2018 Telstra Australian Business of the Year. The business uses cyber deception strategies to protect Australian governmen...

Simon Rowe, the founder of Sleepbus want to develop a new mobile shelter specifically for women.
Success Stories
Success Stories
Sleepbus a first stop on the road to a better life for the homeless

It’s not okay for women fleeing domestic violence to have to sleep rough, and Sleepbus founder, Simon Rowe, plans to launch a new women’s shelter in Melbourne to provide them w...