Buying and implementing a new piece of software is no easy task. There are so many different factors that contribute to whether or not a software implementation is successful, that it is important to do your research before investing in something new.
Craig Flynn, founder and EVP engineering at relationship management software provider Impartner, offered up his tips for purchasing new software. According to him, there are 12 questions all executives must ask before purchasing new software.
First of all, executives must understand what the technology is, Flynn said. “We tell the business buyer that they need to make sure they can clearly articulate the technology they’re asking to implement and be able to briefly explain why it’s so important for them to have and how it’s different from what they already have,” he explained.
Flynn also believes they must understand whether or not the technology is trusted and reliable. “It always makes you feel a little more comfortable if you see a couple big names who have already used it,” he says. “They are not going to want to be a guinea pig on something that is new.” When implementing something that will affect potentially thousands of users in a company, you must make sure that it is reliable, he said.
It is also important to be sure that the new technology is secure. “Big companies have a security document that they usually have vendors fill out. Vendors need to be able to have that ready for the business buyer in hand or be ready to provide it to the security teams or IT person,” he explained.
Making sure a solution is multi-tenant is also very important. “You want to make sure that you’re getting the latest and greatest software fixes at the same time as everyone else,” Flynn says. With single-tenant software, you risk having to wait for important software or security upgrades.
Similarly, the technology needs to be able to scale so that the software can grow alongside the company without having to be retooled to serve a larger number of users or add functionality.
Executives must also ensure that the technology will hold up in a disaster. “That topic really speaks to your hosting infrastructure. Are you on the cloud? If you are, is it using a CDN? Do you have cloud redundancy? And if you’re hosting it on your own network and your own infrastructure as we do, IT people are going to want to see that you’re in a Tier 3 or Tier 4 data center,” said Flynn “They’re going to want a network diagram – the general one and the detailed one – and they’re going to want to make sure you have your network setup the way they have their network set up with the correct zones, best practice, and geographically dispersed locations.”