Whether it’s spreadsheets that are getting lost, data that’s inconsistent, or processes that have become unwieldy and unnecessarily complicated, you know it’s time to rid the company of legacy systems. Now you must find an enterprise software that fits your needs.
Even if you know what kind of technology you require, there are still pitfalls you don’t want to fall into while searching for the right software. That’s why our CEO, COO, and CTO compiled a list of eight questions you ought—but might not think—to ask in your quest for an enterprise solution.
- Do you know if you need a new software solution, or is your true issue ineffective internal processes?
This is the first question you should ask yourself, according to COO Bonnie Fernandez. While an enterprise solution might be helpful, it’s only as good as the people and processes that utilize it.
- Does this technology provider know my business?
“Domain expertise goes a long way toward successful software implementations,” explains CTO Brian Kohn. If the company you’re looking at has no existing knowledge of your business or industry, you may want to keep looking.
- What could you have done better on a past project?
This is the most insightful question Kohn gets from CIOs interested in ProLink software. “Depending on the answer,” he says, “you will learn about the vendor’s experience, how they deal with conflict, as well as how transparent and honest they are.”
- Can I meet the people who will be working on the day-to-day implementation?
“Often times you may get the A-team for the sales demo, only to find out that a rookie shows up to kick off the project,” Kohn says.
- How do you know you are buying a solution that is not based on old and dying technology?
“The cheapest solution is not always the best solution,” Fernandez points out. “Buy an application based on a hardware platform, database, and architecture, and the resulting inflexible or poor performance can end up costing more in the long run.”
- Is the software vendor offering one integrated solution for the entire enterprise, or is it comprised of several different applications/modules that are implemented separately for each group?
You don’t want to miss out on one of the potential gains you can make as you replace your current systems. According to CEO Shawn McKenna, “One of the biggest benefits that can come from an enterprise implementation is a shared data store across all departments.”
- What does the vendor use to fill in the gaps?
There will be gaps in the software your vendor is able to provide, but don’t take that to mean their solution is necessarily inadequate. “No implementation covers 100% of the current and future needs of the enterprise,” McKenna explains. “The vendor should have tools such as APIs and flexible software that can be easily configured to handle and integrate outlier functionality and change.”
- How do you know if your software vendor’s application is user-friendly, with a focus on user adoption?
It doesn’t matter how powerful your software is if you can’t get your team to use it. That’s why you should consider the learning curve of each proposed solution. “If an application is easy to understand and use, it will minimize the time required to make full use of its capabilities,” Fernandez says. “That helps with cross-training existing functions, as well as the training of new personnel. You shouldn’t have to be a computer expert to be able to use your new software.”
As you look for the right enterprise solution for your organization, these questions should help you filter through your options and find the best fit. If you’d like to know more about what ProLink offers, get in touch to learn how we can help.