Business Strategy: How to Evaluate New Software Systems for Your Organization
In short, when your business fails to provide you with quality, efficient management reporting and strategic tools, you may need to look at new solutions that will support your current and future needs.
Therefore, look for triggers that happen continually, and then determine why they are happening. Are they due to poor planning, redundant manual processes, lack of communication or inadequate software? If the answer lies in deficient software, you need to begin taking steps to fix the problem.
Step 2. Determine where the need originates.
The key to getting a project started properly, and ultimately completed, is to employ a mechanism that provides metrics on software performance—not just how it functions on the server, but how well it provides information to its users. Whether a formal corporate-request process is in place or not, it is common for senior management to deny requests from “below” for a variety of reasons—budget limitations, bad timing or protracted periods of review. Yet similar requests from senior management often speed through the approval process. Thus, determining where the need comes from is important and should be an integral part of any software analysis.
• Management: Its buy-in is essential. Senior management is paid to recognize and resolve problems, as well as to think strategically about building the business. Often, however, management is swamped with day-to-day challenges that take it away from these big-picture tasks, and as a result, the business suffers.
Therefore, if management can see the need for change, it will be easier to get its buy-in. Management commitment is key to any software evaluation effort.
• End-Users: They know what works and what doesn’t. The staff who actually use the technology can provide a wealth of information about how effective—or ineffective—it is, and whether or not upgrades or new systems are needed. Many managers don’t have the technical IT knowledge, or day-to-day practical interaction with core operating software, to determine if it is working well or not. Speak in-depth to your staff members on the front lines. They may tell you what you don’t want to hear, but the truth will be essential in making improvements.