By Sharon Jones

Whether your business has just started out or is soaring high into a sky of success, it is worth taking a step back and looking at the foundations. Is anything crumbling? What is holding up your business these days? This sort of analysis is useful in all aspects of business ownership, leadership, and management. Being able to take a step back and appreciate what is going right as well as seeking issues and looking for improvement is what will set your business apart. When you are looking at the foundations of your business what are you looking for exactly? Are you looking for what you already know is there, or are you looking for flaws to improve?

The foundations of any business are always built on what is important to the business. This means that the foundations of business will likely be similar for different businesses. A good work ethic, great customer service and a solid idea all work mainly - but can you think of anything else? Well, a lot of business owners don't seem to focus on the importance that technology has in the workplace. If we don't include technology as our foundation, how exactly do we get stuff done? Technology is so very important in the modern workplace - it archives our documents, it allows us to communicate, it keeps us safe and secure, it seals deals and secures clients. Technology, in the form of computers, does a heck of a lot for businesses and it has made everything so much easier. Computing in business has opened a lot of doors and opportunities for a modern business.

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However, computing is almost nothing without one thing. Without software, a computer is just a bunch of chips and plastic with wiring. Software makes a computer have a use. It is its own system. With the hardware and operating system in place, a computer needs a user and/or instructions to actually work. Computer software is the part of the computer system that is constructed of instructions and data in the form of code. It is digital, rather than the physical construct of computer hardware. Software means applications, programs, data and all sorts of digital media. Of course, software won't work without hardware, but hardware is useless without software. This does mean that businesses need to ensure that they have solid and updated computer systems so that they can use the software that will propel a business to success.

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However, software needs to find a use via a user. It's all good having code and data, but if the software can't find a use via an end user, a program or an automated macro, it is going to sit still and do nothing. It is when we find a use for computer software that magic happens. It is when we find that we need to use a unique piece of software when even more magic arrives! Smart business workers will find ways to automate invoices based on certain criteria and costs (which can be done in spreadsheet software or even truly automated based on inputs). It is about constantly finding shortcuts, and a shortcut is there to be made, think about microservices architecture that can help that piece of software become a reality to help your business out. This happens with industry-specific software packages.

In a way, software can be seen as a simplification of a process. All businesses will have administration and customer service packages that help them perform day-to-day tasks without heaps and stacks of paperwork and other information. Software and data help computers run a business and help you and your employees keep track of everything. If a piece of software isn't helping you store and categorize information, it is helping you do something.

Software exists for creative production purposes as well. We write with word processing software that matches our keyboard inputs to create an output of documentation. We have video editing software that can trim and edit films, and audio software that can do the same with audio and music. Picture editing tools create artwork from imagery. We have software that creates as well as categorizes.

Computer software is so important because it helps a business or employee simplify physical tasks. We no longer need to edit film with glue and razor blades, we don't need to spend hours searching through company files, we can process and pay invoices in minutes. Simply put, software is so important because it has made business easier and success easier to achieve.