A checklist for leaders facing software purchasing decisions

Managing Director - Intraversed Pty Ltd

If you’re considering a software purchase but you’re unsure whether it’ll really solve the issues you’re current system is facing, we’ve formed a checklist for you to work through, in order to clarify your next step.

Here’s our checklist for purchasing a software upgrade:

Have you purchased software to solve the same issues in the past?

This should be a red flag. Remember the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. You should be very clear before you purchase on how the new software will resolve the issues your current system doesn’t. If you’re not convinced it will, don’t buy it.

 

Have you done a thorough assessment of the causes of the problems you’re having with your current system?

This will often involve looking into your data collection and usage practices, and the processes you have in place for storage, security and destruction of data. Also include how data is moved from one software system to another, if that happens. Take your time (or spend the money) and make sure this is done well. This can end up saving you a lot of money on unnecessary software (we’ve seen it save one company over $700K).

Who is going to use the new software and who is hoping to benefit most?

This person/or team, should be driving the decision. They’re the ones experiencing the problem that needs resolution, so they must hold the accountability. If you have an I.T. person, or team, their input is important, but the staff who’ll actually be using the new software to deliver something better or quicker should be driving the choice and the push for an upgrade. No one else.

Have you thought through how the new software will affect everyone else (and other software you use)?

This can be an easy oversight if you’re considering task-specific software, but it’s worth doing a good analysis of how these things might send ripples through the rest of your processes. You may save yourself a big headache later, but you may also realise that one choice brings greater additional benefit to another part of your business, while another choice does not.

Have you clarified your business language, to ensure your data has a smooth transition into any new system you purchase?

We’ve talked about this in previous articles, but it’s important. Each term your business uses to describe any key function being undertaken, any key elements of your work, any metrics, should be listed in your business term glossary and have a very clear and concise definition for it. This means terms like customer, account, contract, asset, etc. You should define what these mean in the context of your business activity, and then all staff will know exactly what is meant when teams are discussing business activity. It may seem like a lot of needless work now, but if your new software requires I.T. set up to move data and create reports or front-end dashboards, these definitions can be cost- and time-savers.

 

Need help with any of this?

Contact Intraversed and let’s have a coffee! We’re local and we’ll give you helpful advice if we can.

Managing Director - Intraversed Pty Ltd