The world of add-ons – top 10 lessons

The IT Faculty’s latest Tech Essentials guide looks at the world of add-ons and how they can add value to your business; a number of case studies are included. My top 10 lessons from the guide are as follows: 

  1. An add-on is a software application that connects with other software to extend functionality of one or both applications – think expenses and receipt capture, or payments and banking
  2. Many cloud software applications are now created purely as add-ons that connect with and complement each other
  3. Perspectives on which application is central to an infrastructure of add-ons can differ between firm and client (an accounting system versus an industry-specific database)
  4. Check how easily components connect – and consider your appetite for building connections where they may not be automated
  5. Consider cost of ownership and confirm who is paying the fees for the software – you or your client
  6. Following on from this, be wary of data privacy and ownership issues – some accountants believe having a client pay their own fee for the software helps clarify data ownership, as well as creating an emotional sense of ownership by the client
  7. Although accounting specialists may seem safe, also look at productivity tools in the Google G Suite/Microsoft Office 365, and support for ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ businesses
  8. Jessica Pillow (Pillow May) talks about the need to limit choices and check for feedback on the stores/marketplaces and Facebook
  9. Alan Woods (Woods Squared) notes the upskilling of his staff has all been provided by the software providers – but it can be trickier for some clients
  10. Ian Norman (Crowe) warns some add-ons are automating and adding value to the advisory areas many firms are trying to develop.

The guide also includes a graphical at-a-glance anatomy of add-ons, and a glossary of terms used in the sector. 

The guide is available here exclusively to IT Faculty members. You can join here if you are interested in the guide or membership of the faculty.