You are probably aware that choosing the right software system is not a decision your business can take lightly. When you choose a commercial software vendor that is not right, your entire business can be put at risk. In fact, losses went up by 64% from 2020 to 2021 because of existing software vulnerabilities businesses had.
There is a right and wrong way to choose the best software vendor. We have put together this guide to share our top tips about how to choose between different options for software vendors. Keep reading to learn more.
Table of Contents
Define Your Goals
Before you pick a software vendor you have to be very clear on where you are going with your business. Write down your business goals along with your pain points. These pain points are going to help you decide what type of technology will help minimize those pain points.
Think about the problems your company wants to solve and the timeframe you are working with. Also, take into consideration the resources you are planning to allocate to the project.
You also want to think about your entire tech ecosystem, which will include both the external and internal ecosystems of where the software solution needs to work to solve your pain points.
Get Input From Internal Teams
When you are deciding between vendors you must speak with all of your internal teams before making a final decision. You need to ask their expertise on what they feel would be helpful for the teams they run.
Getting input from the main managers of each team is going to ensure that you choose field service software that is compatible with your existing infrastructure.
Research, Research, Research
You never want to rush your decision and pick the first software you come across. You want to see if the company deals with a specific niche and industry. Reading online reviews will also help you see the experience that others have had.
Do not be afraid to reach out to businesses that have already purchased the software you are considering investing in. Ask them how satisfied they are with their purchase and how long they have been using the software. This is all going to help you make an informed decision.
Check Vendor Credentials
Something else you want to make sure you take the time to do is check the vendor’s credentials. You want to see if they have certifications, awards, or any other type of recognition in the industry. The goal is that the software vendor is a reliable partner that will offer quality services.
The key is to make sure that your needs align with the vendor’s future roadmap. This is where you review their plans for future developments and see if this will in fact benefit your business or not.
After the research and credential phase you want to take the time to understand what the vendor is capable of. You want to make sure they have everything needed to meet your specific requirements and goals.
The best way to do this is to check their development processes, along with their quality control procedures, and also their support. You can also request software demos from the vendor to help you assess the compatibility and functionality with your current infrastructure.
Pricing and Contracts
After you have narrowed down between your potential candidates, comparing software costs is a smart move. Evaluate each of the companies pricing policies and also their contract terms. The key is to choose a vendor that is transparent and that has clear prices in place.
The last thing you want is to end up with an unexpected bill because of the fine print in their contract or pricing chart. When it comes to pricing keep in mind that there is something for every type of business. Evaluate whether you will be better off with a traditional license model, a subscription-based option, or a pay-as-you-go option.
You can’t forget about keeping up with the maintenance of the software you choose. You want to opt for a vendor that offers ongoing maintenance to make sure that everything is running smoothly and to the best of its ability. Also, pick software that has a user interface that you understand.
The goal is for you to be able to operate and administer the software in the event of an emergency without feeling lost. Understanding the software means that you can also make sure that the appropriate maintenance is being done and not being overlooked.
Thoroughly Audit the Vendor
Once you follow all of our tips above you need to audit the potential vendor you are planning on going with. This is going to help you figure out if their technology is enough for the tasks that your business needs to tackle.
You can opt to do the audit yourself, or you can also hire a third party that is qualified to do this type of audit. You want to be 100% clear on their practices around change control, release management, software development, verification and validation, and security.
Ready to Choose a Commercial Software Vendor Like a Pro?
Now that you have learned our top tips about how to choose a commercial software vendor, we hope you can make an informed decision when you are looking at options for software vendors.
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