When it comes to selecting enterprise software, a collaborative process is paramount. Rushing to choose the right software can lead to a less-than-ideal match and unnecessary challenges that generate more pain for your company. Providing adequate due diligence can be lengthy, costly, and not meet the varying needs of your business. Collaboration amongst key stakeholders is difficult, yet without it their input there’s no way to source the right solution. It’s crucial to have a process in place that eliminates bias and ensures you make the right choice based on your company’s unique requirements.
The Best Practices for Collaborative Enterprise Software Buying
To ensure you’re choosing the right software for your business needs, it’s essential to have a process that relies on data, meets your company’s needs, and includes input from various stakeholders, especially IT, Procurement and Finance. A transparent selection process amongst these stakeholders is crucial, especially for community-funded purchases. A best practice software buying process should contain four essential phases with input from all necessary stakeholders at every phase. A very brief overview:
- Establishing Requirements: Collect and rate all requirements based on company-wide needs, ranked in importance to create a unique requirements profile.
- Shortlisting Vendors: Gather a shortlist of vendors that meet the project’s basic requirements.
- Software Evaluation: Engage with vendors formally, collecting and ranking their responses against the organization’s needs.
- Software Selection: Confirm your analysis by trying out a few product demos.
Bias in Enterprise Software Selection: How It Happens and What to Do About It
Agile Software Evaluation vs. Dated Waterfall Software Evaluation
Traditionally, the software evaluation process has been lengthy, leading organizations to cut corners, skip stakeholders or react to internal and external pressures. Googling solutions, asking peers, and using review sites are all biased methods that are more likely to result in the wrong fit. But with Olive, the painful process of buying software is revolutionized. Olive simplifies the enterprise software evaluation process to allow you to only consider vendors that meet the needs of the entire business, saving time and reducing the effort and cost associated with software evaluations while reducing decision risk.
Effective Process for Evaluating Enterprise Software Vendors as a Team
Simply put, it’s one that relies on data, meets the needs of your business, and includes the input of various stakeholders who will use the chosen solution. Following this best practice will reduce or eliminate bias. The selection process should be fully transparent, especially for any purchases that must be worked on between IT, Procurement, Finance, Legal and other key business stakeholders.
Selecting enterprise software requires a well-defined process that eliminates bias and ensures you make the right decision for your business. By following best practices and using an evaluation platform like Olive, you can save time, reduce costs, and be confident that you’ve made the best decision based on unbiased data.
Why Do IT Finance and Procurement Need to Work Together on Enterprise Software Buying
IT, finance, and procurement need to work together to source the right solutions for enterprise digital transformation because each department brings a unique perspective and expertise to the process.
IT understands the technical requirements and capabilities of the software, finance brings financial analysis and budgeting expertise, and procurement has experience in vendor management and contract negotiation.
When these departments collaborate, they can evaluate potential solutions more effectively, identify the best fit for the organization’s needs, and negotiate contracts that are beneficial for both the company and the vendor. This collaboration also ensures that the enterprise is making the most cost-effective investment, minimizing the risk of purchasing solutions that don’t meet the company’s requirements or budget constraints.
Overall, collaboration among IT, finance, and procurement streamlines the enterprise software buying process and improves the chances of a successful digital transformation.
Olive: The Evaluation Platform that Enhances Collaboration, Eliminates Bias and Reduces Decision Risk
With Olive, you can be confident that you’ve made the best decision, free from bias. Olive connects sellers to buyers based on the buyer’s needs and helps determine the best fit based on unbiased data. Olive is the only evaluation platform that doesn’t charge vendors to participate, ensuring a fair and unbiased selection process.
Chris Doig of CIO.com: Using process to eliminate bias when selecting enterprise software