Software selection is a tricky and strategic process for any corporation. Here are 4 tips, on how to tackle a system selection process:
1- The system selection process should follow a fact based approach. Gather Application or functional requirements via interviews and workshops from various groups like Operations, Finance, Marketing, and IT. These requirements should provide the basis for the selection.
2- Employees in various functional areas, including Business Verticals, CRM, BI,ERP or any other type of system of engagement should participate to determine which value add features should be included in the selection criteria process. Through primary and secondary research (e.g. analyst reviews, vendor calls, subject matter expert reviews, independent consultants, vendor websites, etc.), select three to four vendors to issue the selection and invite them to demonstrate their offering.
3- Have a consistent approach for vendor selection analysis, a scoring schedule with weightings should be developed and validated internally. Further, scoring criteria should be established to evaluate the vendor’s software response.
4- Based on the scoring results and qualitative assessment of the vendors’ response and product demonstrations, short list two vendors and perform a total cost of ownership and a internal high level implementation plan. An important rule never select a software that has no product roadmap.
Below are some of the most common slipups, If you see your organization doing any of the following, take action quickly!
1- Not knowing up front the full Total Cost of Ownership . A previous client called me last week and was shocked to learn that their perfect $80K open source solution would cost $700K to make useful in their environment and another $250K annually to support. Make sure you perform a TCO.
2- Believing that newer technology will fix business problems is a trap that organizations repeatedly fall into
3- A software selection process that assumes the consent of other stakeholders without their involvement can easily get derailed. I know of several projects that experienced considerable delays after purchase or the software was put on the shelf do to internal reasons.
4- One that is often forgotten, not paying particular attention to integration points, the software selected must fit within your company’s spiderweb architecture.
Feel free to share any useful tips you've experienced.