Software Evaluation Part 1 – Business Drivers


Software Evaluation often seem simple at first glance. However, companies frequently underestimate the complexity of the selection process and ignore the change implications that are inherent to these projects.

Selecting a new system will introduce significant changes into your organization. Therefore, it is recommended to take a two-part approach to this activity, the first step being to build a business case and understand your business drivers for engaging in the software evaluation process in the first place. Only after the business case has been documented and approved should your proceed with the system evaluation process.

Knowing why the organization should undertake such an activity is critical. Meet with key members of your organization, and identify 3-5 key strategic reasons for a new system. This list becomes the foundation of your business case, and brings focus to your analysis. As you explore the key reasons for your organization, keep these examples in mind:

 

Typical Internal Business Drivers:

  • Eliminate financial and managerial reporting difficulties
  • Eliminate dual maintenance across systems
  • Reduce Integration issues between systems
  • Limit manual entry tasks and create me for value-add activities
  • Eliminate data integrity issues between/within systems
  • Reduce performance issues
  • Gain enhanced system functionality
  • Gain a system that supports company expansion

 

Typical External Business Drivers:

  • Address regulatory changes through automation
  • Address Sarbanes-Oxley audit requirements/ becoming a public company
  • Address Investor/Lender reporting requirement
  • Improve information sharing with partners

 

Once you have a list of the drivers, prioritize and assess the underlying issues. If a new system will not enable your organization to achieve these critical change initiatives, another solution is needed. If switching systems will facilitate the changes, then each application you consider should be benchmarked against these key drivers, as should the success of your eventual implementation.

 

Click here to read ‘Software Evaluation Part 2– Best Practices’.

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