Software is a set of instructions and data that make a computer work. There are two main categories:

  1. System software
  2. Application software

System software includes operating systems (e.g. Microsoft Windows) and device drivers (the specific instructions and data needed to operate a device, like a printer), as well as utilities (which usually perform computer maintenance activities).

Application software performs a function over and above the capability of the system software. Examples include productivity software (e.g. Microsoft Office), media creation and editing software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop), games, web browsers (e.g. Google Chrome) and accounting applications (e.g. Sage 50).

Also called ‘apps’ or ‘programs’, some applications are installed ‘locally’ (i.e. on the computer) while others are hosted by a provider and accessed over the internet: cloud apps, or ‘software-as-a-service’ (SaaS).

What this means to you

You need software, then, to make your computer hardware work, and to perform the various tasks that you need to. If you’re a business, this might include communicating with customers and suppliers, creating and managing business data, and maintaining accounts.

Software changes all the time. The vendors bring out new versions to build in new features, and release updates during the life of a piece of software to correct faults and mitigate security vulnerabilities. New vendors may appear in some areas that challenge existing vendors (e.g. Xero, QuickBooks and FreshBooks for small business accounting). Technology and business processes change, allowing a different approach (e.g. Microsoft 365 for business email, communication, and data storage and sharing).

Keeping software up to date not only helps to close security holes and keep everything running well, but also helps to keep you and your business operating efficiently.

Why we are good

As we work with a wide range of clients, of many different sizes and in many different sectors, built up over years of supporting hundreds of businesses and individuals, we have knowledge of a lot of different software and the ways it can (and can’t) be used effectively.

We’re also a {Microsoft Partner} and a {Sage Authorized Partner}: we work closely with these organisations, as a large number of our clients use them.

We’ve got experience in a lot of the specific software used in certain sectors too.

What we can do

We can help you with any software issues, questions and projects. Licencing, for example, can be complex with certain vendors (including Microsoft): we can advise not only on the applications that will work best for you, but the best licencing model to achieve compliance as well as cost effectiveness and future flexibility.