It seems like every day there is a new Web tool or app launching that promises to make our professional or personal lives just a tad easier.
With the barriers to entry so low for creating apps and Web tools, it is paramount that businesses keep a few key considerations in mind when deciding what to use. Does the product or service do something new, simplify an existing task you do in your business or eliminate a pain point that you have?
If it does the former, then it may make sense to test it out to see how it works and if what it offers can benefit your business. Many apps or services use a freemium model makes it simple to try before you buy. If it’s the latter, you’ll want know how it fits with your current workflow and if the ease it brings is really worth changing how you or your team does things.
You’ll also want to know the history of the company providing the tool or service so you can be confident that it will not be a ‘here one day and gone the next’ situation. Knowing that the company has a sound business model means that the odds are better that the company will continue to develop their product and continue to innovate.
Yet even the almighty Google sends many of its products to the grave. Google Reader is the latest victim, with Google saying in a blog post that usage has declined. Although it had a dedicated audience, that audience was not growing due in part to rapid changes in how we search out and consume news and information, such as through social channels instead.
With many Web products and services living in the cloud as a business you want to make sure that you have access to your data. You want to make sure that your data is easily accessible and in a format that can be transitioned to another service easily if you decide to switch later.
When Google decided to shut down Reader they made it easy to switch. For example, Feedly (Reader’s heir apparent) could import your Google Reader feeds directly by the user approving access to reader which gave Feedly 3 million new users when the Reader announcement came down according to Tech Crunch.
With so many new products and services being offered new work paradigms will increasingly come to play. If you have any other tips based on your own experience with all the new tools and services being offered let us know in the comments section.