Selecting new software for your business can be a daunting task, particularly when you hear so many tales of failed software implementations. So how can you ensure that you make the right choice?
1: Know What You Want.
This is the most important step in the process. Prepare a detailed and objective document which show exactly what your business needs are. Use this document throughout the selection process.
2: Search Widely.
Don’t just look at one or two packages – there are heaps out there. Use multiple sources of information, such as Internet searches, industry associations, and recommendations from friends and colleagues.
You can quickly eliminate packages which don’t make the grade by looking at your 10 key requirements – then concentrate on 2-3 real contenders.
4: Seeing is Believing.
Always look at a live demonstration of the software to make sure your key criteria are really met, using examples of your own data.
5: Stick to your Shopping List
Don’t be distracted by demonstrations of sexy features which are of no value
to you. Always evaluate based on your business needs document.
6: Get It In Writing
Make sure software vendors confirm their conformance to your business needs document, and any other promises – in writing.
7: Ask for Help!
Help is available from independent consultants. Judicious use of consultants for key activities such as your business needs document can make the difference between success and failure.
*Meredith Thompson is a director of Codexpertise, who provide specialist consulting services in software selection. www.codexpertise.com.au