When it comes to selecting software, your process should start with understanding your business objectives and end with making the best financial decision for your company. Nothing compares to making the right choice. In fact, the consequences of a bad decision can reverberate for years. The software market is especially convoluted, with so many providers and products to choose from. How do you make sense of it all and find the right solution for your business?
A study by Forrester research highlighted that 57% of companies were unsuccessful with their digital transformation initiatives. The main reason for this was the wrong selection of software. To make sure you are not one of the 57% percent, here are three ways to improve your software selection process:
Vendor due diligence is critical in any software purchase. You need to make sure that the provider you choose is stable and has a good track record. Do your research and ask around for recommendations, but also take the time to speak with references provided by the vendor. In fact, choose references that are similar to your business in terms of size and industry. This way, you can get a better idea of how the software will work for you. For example, if you are a small retailer, don’t speak with a reference from a large bank. You should also evaluate the provider’s technology. How up-to-date is it? Is it compatible with the rest of your systems? Can it scale as your company grows?
The answers to these questions will help you determine if the vendor is a good fit for your business. Moreover, it is important to have a clear understanding of the vendor’s financial stability. Can they afford to support your business in case of technical difficulties or during the implementation process? Will they be there for you in the long run?
It is also crucial to have a good understanding of the contractual obligations between you and the vendor. Make sure the agreement includes provisions for maintenance, support, and upgrades.
It’s also important to make sure that the vendor’s values align with your own. After all, you’ll be working closely with them and need to be on the same page. Take the time to get to know their team and what they stand for. Even if you have found the perfect software solution, it won’t matter if it doesn’t align with your overall business strategy. Before you make any decisions, take the time to map out your objectives and how this new software will help you achieve them.
If you are looking to digitize your business, you need a provider that can help you with that. Similarly, if you are looking to cut costs, you need a solution that is affordable. It is also important to consider the long-term effects of your decision. For example, if you choose software that is difficult to use or doesn’t integrate well with other systems, you will likely have to switch providers down the road. This will cost time and money, both of which could be better spent on other initiatives.
It may seem like an obvious point, but it’s important to make sure the software you choose actually meets your needs. Too often, companies choose a provider or product because the price is cheaper or it’s the latest trend. But, if the software doesn’t solve your specific problem, you’ll just end up wasting time and money.
Before you even start looking at providers, take the time to define what you are looking for. What are your business goals? What are your pain points? What features are essential? This will help you hone-in on the right providers and products. It will also save you time in the long run, as you won’t need to waste your time considering options that don’t meet your needs.
When it comes to making choices in life, the process is just as important as the choice itself. Making the wrong decision can be costly for any business. Like the story of the software engineer who chose the wrong software solution and ended up costing his company millions of dollars, it is important to be thoughtful about your decision.
You need to do your research, weigh your options, and make sure that the software you choose is the best fit for your business. By following these three steps – vendor due diligence, strategy alignment, and defining your needs – you can be confident that you are making the right choice for your business.
Since 1958, Matthijssen Inc. has been helping businesses improve ops efficiency with solutions, along with award-winning service & support.