There are many different kinds of software in the world of computing. In fact, almost every aspect of day to day life can be found represented in the kinds of software available for computers. There are games, financial software, business to business software, time tracking software, anti virus software, and of course business software. The things that differentiate business software from other applications is that business applications are designed to allow you and your employees to get the work that needs done completed as efficiently as possible.
In fact, efficiency is one of the key concepts of modern computing as a whole. Financial software is designed to cut down on the amount of time chasing papers all over the office trying to complete your taxes or payroll. Business to business software is designed to cut down on hours of tedious forms and phone calls just to keep your business running. Time tracking software reduces the amount of resources required for your employees to get paid for their time. Gaming software is designed to efficiently waste as much time as possible. The list goes on and on.
A good business program is one that will allow your employees to get more work done in the same amount of time, and ideally more accurately than they would without good business applications. Take for example something as simple as taking notes at a meeting. In times past this was done by one person being handed a note pad and a pen and told to take notes. Later these notes would need to be handed to someone to be typed up or made permanent in some other way as the notes quickly taken in the middle of the meeting would most likely be in short hand not not suitable for storage or distribution. After they had been typed up they would then be printed out and stuck in a filing cabinet until they were lost.
There are several problems with that scenario that a good business program would solve. In the first place most people these days type vastly more quickly and completely than they write. In fact it is becoming more and more common to find people who can barely write legibly that type 150 words per minute. This means that your person taking notes, if they have good business software, can simply type up the notes, instantly check the spelling, and email it out to the entire department before the last stragglers out of the meeting can finish picking over the remnants of the donuts.
Finding a good business program or business applications suite has been easier in recent years than it has been in the past. There are only a few serious contenders in the realm of business applications and they fall neatly into commercial products and free products.
One of the most popular commercial business software suites in the world is, of course, Microsoft Office. Almost every employee in any modern industry is familiar with this business program and the business applications that come with Office are the industry standard to which all products are compared. Containing software for writing documents, creating flowcharts, creating presentations, storing and accessing data and databases, and even software for sending email, managing calendars and meetings, and other features Office is a fully featured business program that will generally meet your need in business applications.
There is a downside however, Microsoft Office is fairly expensive and you would need to purchase a license for every single computer in your business, which can get very price intensive very quickly. As many people running small to medium businesses are dealing with limited resources there have been a plethora of open source or freeware business program suites developed to compete with Office, and of those Open Office is frequently the business software of choice.
Open Office has many if not all of the same features of Microsoft Office, but is completely free. That being said it does lack a bit in the polish departments as it is under constant development and adding new features has taken precedence, as it always does, over polishing the interface. Another major downside is that your average user who may be completely comfortable and experienced Microsoft Office may not be comfortable or all that familiar with Open Office. It is not unheard of for your average employee to have never even heard of this particular business program.
That being said, those are not the only two products on the market when it comes to business applications and it always pays to spend time looking at the needs of your business and the products available for your business. By taking the time to find the right business software for your needs you will reap the rewards of increased productivity and organization for your company.