Picking software for your business is a lot like finding a new employee for your company. You don’t want to hire the guy without giving him a fair shot, but you can’t afford to stick with someone who doesn’t work out. There are so many options available, and it takes time and effort to find the right fit. Let’s break down your options and how you can find solutions that will last beyond your initial excitement.
Assemble Your Stakeholders
Stakeholders are crucial when choosing software for your business. Software has the potential to change the way your organization functions, saving you time and money. So, it’s worth making sure you have everyone on board with your choice before beginning the procurement process.
Assess Your Software Needs
As a first-time buyer, you’re not sure what you want. It’s vital to ask lots of questions to determine your business needs because the software you choose will undoubtedly impact your bottom line. It’s also important to gather input from colleagues who might be using other solutions because they might have the same experience you are looking for.
Search for Vendors
The best way to find a great vendor for your business is to ask other businesses that you trust. It could be a competitor, a vendor, or simply someone in your network. Make sure you do your homework and ask the right questions, so you get to what you really need.
Ask for Trials and Demos
Demos are your chance to “kick the tires” when shopping around for new software. Chances are, you won’t end up making a purchase on the spot. But demos are great opportunities to pick up valuable information that will help you make an informed decision about what software might work well for your business.
Evaluate the Vendor
Start by building your shortlist with the 3-5 vendors you are most interested in. These should be based on overall fit. Attempt to balance overall “experience” and price. Use your purchase agreement to evaluate the vendors’ responsiveness, level of transparency, and how well they estimate (and deliver) on schedule and provide value for money.
Your presentation of the vendor you’ve chosen should have anything and everything already laid out so that stakeholders can get a clear vision of what their new system will look like.