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

glitter banner spelling out happy holidaze
Productivity
Productivity
Make Christmas less stressful with top coping strategies

Are you worried there’ll be more bah humbug and less magic this Christmas? You’re not alone. Read on to see how to stress-proof the silly season.

Christmas corporate gifts waste
Productivity
Productivity
Are business Christmas gifts going to waste?

Environmental conservation groups urge you to re-think your choice of business gifts this year. So, what options other than the stock standard promotional presents can you send...

Image shows a person sitting at a laptop computer and working on a website design.
Growth
Growth
How to get the most out of your content strategy

These digital tools will help you maximise the impact of your content marketing strategies. In the war for attention, the challenge for businesses will be to create content t...

man holding coffee cup looking at tablet
Customer Experience
Customer Experience
SEO 101: 5 things you can do today to grow your online presence

For many, SEO can seem like a foreign concept, better left to tech brands. But there are very real benefits to having a smart site, and easy ways to go about it. Search Engine ...