7 Pitfalls of Free Software to Avoid

Using free software can be appealing for cost-saving reasons, but it’s important to be aware of potential pitfalls that could impact your organization’s security, productivity, and overall IT environment. Here are seven common pitfalls of free software to avoid:

1. Collaboration Challenges

If you have multiple people who work in different time zones or with different devices, you need compatible software that helps you collaborate seamlessly and securely.  Choosing software that can manage calendars and host online meetings will allow you to send, receive, and store data securely, making collaboration a breeze

You want to make sure incompatible free software solutions don’t create collaboration problems

2. Unprofessional Email

When you send business email from a free domain, it can look unprofessional to potential customers and ultimately impact your ability to grow your business. Look for a solution that lets you customize your domain to match your brand and also helps protect your business from cyberthreats.

You want a professional-looking email address you can access anywhere, knowing your data is being defended.

3. Data Insecurity

You need to protect your business and your customers, which means protecting things like customer credit card information and sensitive business data. Look for solutions that offer integrated security and make IT management easier, as well as automatic upgrades to defend against new and evolving cyberthreats

You’re about to sign a deal when your customer asks, “What do you do to protect my data?

4. No Device Management

Many businesses allow employees to use personal mobile devices to work from anywhere. But this also puts your business and customer data at risk. Look for solutions that enable you to easily manage data policies on company owned and employee-owned devices, helping keep your data protected without creating an IT headache.

You and your employees need to keep business data separate and secure when using a personal device for work.

5. Working Offline

When you’re working outside of the office, you need software to help you get work done. Choose a solution designed for mobile use that includes the ability to access and edit your work wherever you are.

You try to edit your presentation while traveling to a client meeting, but you need an internet connection to use your software.

6. Incompatible Software

A lot of free software uses proprietary formats for documents and spreadsheets. Look for software that doesn’t force your customers and partners to use converters and workarounds to access your deliverables.

You send a client a contract, but your incompatible software means they can’t open it.

7. Limited Features

Make sure your software lets you do the things you need to do, from managing finances to building investor-ready presentations. Software designed for personal use may not have the professional functionality your business requires.

A key investor needs a report as soon as possible, but your software won’t let you format it to their specifications.

To avoid these pitfalls, carefully evaluate your organization’s software needs and consider factors beyond cost. Assess whether the free software aligns with your business goals, provides the required features, offers security measures, and can be integrated seamlessly into your existing IT infrastructure. In some cases, investing in reputable paid software solutions might provide better long-term value and benefits for your organization.