Software Buying Guide: The challenge is in finding the right software. Whether you work for a small or large company, for-profit or non-profit, buying software for your organization can be overwhelming. Dozens or even hundreds of software solutions may address your needs, and arriving at agreement and managing expectations among all parties affected by the new software – end users, executives, finance and IT – is a true challenge.
Because of this, the resulting software purchase is often not as successful as it could be. What can go wrong? Implementation may take longer than expected. Costs may be higher than anticipated. Employees may be unhappy with the usability of the solution. And, in some cases, a company may simply settle for the easiest choice without doing the necessary research to find an optimal solution.
Here some insights from Capterra Software into to the software buying process…
Identify Software Options
This step involves creating an exhaustive list of all the software solutions that seem to meet your needs. With the number and variety of innovative solutions available on the market, it is important to conduct research and be as inclusive as possible in the early stages of the purchase process. Starting with a complete list of options decreases the likelihood that you will miss a product that is a good fit for your needs.
After creating a list of all potential solutions, the next step is to narrow it down to a manageable list of realistic options. Consider the following questions:
Making the Final Decision
Contact the vendors on your list to determine final pricing and service levels, as well as to view product demonstrations and training materials. References from current customers that have needs similar to yours can help tremendously. A final factor worth considering is how helpful and proactive the vendor appears to be in the sales process. This is often an indication of how easy they will be to work with once you are a customer. In many respects, your relationship with the vendor will be a partnership, and you will want to find out what sort of partner they will be.
Software Buying Checklist
Every organization has different software needs. Therefore, simply selecting the “market leader” will often result in a less than ideal solution. Because the search for software requires valuable time, it is tempting to cheat the process and take shortcuts. Unfortunately, this can come back to haunt you. Be patient, include all stakeholders, manage their expectations and consider all of your options, and your software purchase decision will be a smart one.