When embarking upon a software selection process it is imperative as a company you determine the correct business objectives on why you are looking to implement a system in the first place. We have seen cases where companies buy a software application for one main feature that is currently needed and fails to meet many other requirements. It is this short-sighted buying process where the software is implemented and the organization only uses a fraction usually about 15% of the overall functionality the system is capable of delivering.
The consulting company doing the software evaluation must have the capabilities to differentiate the types of software in the market and apply that knowledge to alignment of business initiatives. The consulting company must also build the appropriate requirements gathering procedures to evaluate current and future requirements and walk the organization through prioritization of those needs in terms of organizational importance and they integrate with each other. It is this step that organizations often miss that lead to IT failure. The application purchased, often cannot deliver the depth of functionality for a specific requirement or the agility required by the business to respond to changing needs if not properly defined.
This often leads to overselling where organizations buy too much for what they need and do not utilize the full functional capabilities of the system. Our research illustrates that 65-75% of companies do not use their current ERP to its maximum performance capabilities. In many cases, organizations are unaware of these feature/functions and are surprised that they have something that has already been paid for but not in use. The issue of not recognizing what features or business requirements is fundamental in selecting the correct software for your company. If an organization does not utilize the application it purchased to maximum capabilities the perception of IT failure may become the company perception and attitude although the software is capable of performing the preset defined functions.
Once pointed solutions are growing to incorporate many new and complementary functions which confuses the decision process even more as to a pointed solution or best of breed ERP or system suite. Many applications such as CRM have grown to incorporate social media, collaboration, business analytics, marketing automation, customer service/help desk functionalities while Project Management Apps have grown to see collaboration, billing, resourcing and some CRM capabilities are now incorporated in some PM applications. The growing range of functionality from these point solutions can quickly obscure the project scope as where to draw the line and what budget is available for that project.
A proper impartial software evaluation process that considers non-tangible and tangible aspects, strategic organizational fit, proper requirements gathering and prioritization, budget formulation, vendor viability, implementation/consulting cost, a documented, structured evaluation process and project scope are aspects that must be considered in a software evaluation process. The software evaluation process should arm your organization with the most correct and upto date decision-support information to achieve project success. A proper evaluation process can sometimes identify red flags with potential vendors and solutions and save the headache of implementing the wrong solution.
Eval-Source is an Analyst/Consulting consulting firm that offers enterprise software evaluation, cloud computing consulting, business process optimization and technology planning for organizations. Our innovative professional services make your life easier whether it is to acquire enterprise software or provide you with fact–based information to match your business with IT. Eval-Source provides critical decision support to validate your technology investments using the Tru-Eval system. Follow our blog at www.eval-source.com/blog or on twitter @eval_source or our site http://www.eval-source.com