Regardless of industry or size, all businesses need the appropriate software tools to run their business operations in the most effective and efficient way possible. That said, selecting the right software for your organization can be one of the most important decisions you can make. The software a business chooses has far-reaching implications, from directly affecting how the organization conducts business, to how it satisfies current objectives and supports future growth. Moreover, enterprise software is a substantial investment for many companies, costing both fiscal and human capital in the form of time dedicated to employee training.
To support the ever-increasing quantities and complexity of company interactions and data, software solutions must also be scalable. This makes the method of selecting software critical in that it lays the foundation for effective long-term execution. Doing it right the first time can save time and money, and boost employee and user satisfaction, as well.
Benefits Of Software Selection Consulting
Choosing the right enterprise system requires an organized approach: assessing business processes, analyzing key requirements, screening vendors, organizing demonstrations, deciding on the product, and finally, negotiating and reviewing the final software contract.
Hartman Executive Advisors offers software selection consulting services to advise key decision-makers throughout this complex process, helping to ensure that organizations of all kinds obtain the software solutions they need to operate optimally. Our focused and organized approach ensures that software both aligns with your goals and that vendors and products are sufficiently vetted and tested before consideration.
From planning software needs and requirement analysis to demoing and contract negotiation, the Hartman team will guide you through each step of the software selection process, and can also offer support throughout the implementation stage.
The Software Selection Process
Hartman Executive Advisors take the following 6-phase approach to guide our clients through the software selection process. Read more about each phase below.
1. Plan/Budget Software Needs
The initial step in the software selection process is to recognize the need for new software and to begin your internal planning. Here, we will work with key stakeholders, project team members, and functional subject experts to collect solid feedback about current and projected software needs. We will also assist in receiving buy-in for the project and compile a budgetary projection and timelines, as needed.
2. Requirement Analysis
An effective software selection project begins with analyzing and organizing a strong requirements document that identifies the strategic requirements needed to appropriately vet the software and evaluate vendors. At his stage, we will assist you in identifying your current and future business requirements from both a functional and technical perspective. From there we will help you document a Business Requirements Document which can be used as a blueprint for your enterprise systems software model.
3. Vendor Research Selection
With strong Requirements documentation and selection criteria in place, we can then begin the process of researching and selecting vendors. We will help you locate potential vendors, send out “Requests for Information” (RFIs) to gather basic information about each vendor, and then compare them against your selection criteria. From there, we assist you in applying for a “Request for Proposal” or RFP (a highly detailed breakdown of each vendor’s software solution) while providing you with the needed insight to make informed decisions.
4. Software Demos With Vendors
Once vendors have been researched and carefully vetted, we will manage the invitations for on-site demos, develop a structured ‘Demo Script’ so you can compare vendors on a common footing, and schedule product demos with key stakeholders to ensure that functional concerns are addressed and that sufficient buy-in is established. We will also assist you in the demo process itself, helping to solicit feedback and compare them in an equal and objective manner.
5. Make Informed Software Decisions
Based on our strong understanding of your unique software requirements, we will consult with your organization’s stakeholders to decide on the best vendor/product your organization. In an effort to assist you in making the most informed decision possible, we will ensure that you take all factors into consideration, such as vendor support, ROI, opportunity cost, best practices, scalability, growth, pricing and risk. From there we will conduct due diligence and confirm your final decision.
6. Negotiating & Reviewing the Software Contract
After the decision has been finalized, we will work with the vendor to document and secure a software contract that protects your interests and saves you money.