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Do’s and Dont’s of Software Selection

Software selection is a crucial process for organizations looking to enhance their productivity and efficiency. The right software can streamline processes, automate manual tasks, and provide valuable insights into business operations. However, making the wrong selection can lead to frustration, wasted resources, and a negative impact on productivity. At CAG, we do many software selection projects for clients as a standalone or part of more extensive managed service agreements. In this blog post, I will discuss some of the dos and don’ts of software selection we have learned over the years.

Do’s of Software Selection

Buy In:
Ensure you have the right stakeholders involved and committed to the process. Educate them on why the process is necessary, how long it will take, and what their time commitment will need to be.

Define your requirements:
Before searching for the right software, you must define your requirements. This includes identifying the specific business problems you want to solve and the features and capabilities required to address them.

Consider your budget:
Software selection involves making a significant investment, so it’s essential to consider your budget. Determine how much you’re willing to spend and look for software that offers the needed features within your budget constraints.

Consider alternatives:
Upgrading or adding capabilities to existing systems, better user training, and/or enhanced support. Sometimes the best solution is already there and needs to be better utilized.

Research potential vendors:
Do your research on potential vendors. Look for a vendor with a proven record, a compelling reputation, and a history of providing high-quality software solutions.

Evaluate vendor support:
Consider the level of support you’ll receive from the vendor. Look for a vendor that offers excellent customer support, including training, technical support, and maintenance.

Don’ts of Software Selection

Don’t rush the process:
Software selection is a complex process that requires careful consideration and research. Don’t rush the process, or you may make a hasty decision that you’ll regret later.

Don’t forget about scalability:
When selecting software, it’s important to consider the future. Don’t forget to look for software that is scalable, so you can continue to use it as your business grows.

Don’t forget about the soft costs:
Large-scale organizational change can cause a lot of uncertainty with users, negatively impacting productivity and your vendors and customers.

Don’t overlook security:
Security is a critical concern in today’s digital world, and some organizations also have regulatory requirements for security. Don’t overlook this factor when selecting software, as a security breach can seriously affect your organization.

Don’t rely solely on vendor presentations:
Vendor presentations can be misleading, and it’s important to do your research.

Expect the unexpected:
Users will find potential solutions that haven’t been considered until the middle of the process, and vendors who have capabilities that weren’t surfaced in the research will pop up.  Maintain your process, but make sure you have a way of managing added information that comes up during the process.

In conclusion, the software selection process is critical to the success of any organization. By following the do’s and don’ts of software selection, according to Gartner, organizations can make informed decisions that will lead to enhanced productivity, efficiency, and profitability. The key is to take the time to involve stakeholders in the process, define your requirements, research potential vendors and options, and carefully evaluate and plan for the impact the solution will have on the organization. With careful consideration and diligence, organizations can find the right software to meet their needs and achieve their goals.

About Columbia Advisory Group:
Columbia Advisory Group (CAG) is a leading Information Technology (IT) consulting firm. CAG’s team has assessed and helped improve the performance of more than 300 technology organizations and IT departments, including many higher education institutions, state agencies, and Fortune 50 customers. Practice specialty areas include Infrastructure, IT Service Management, Cybersecurity, and A/V Services. CAG improves business outcomes with IT insights and expert technical support. Based in Dallas, Texas, CAG works extensively with clients throughout the U.S. Contact us at .

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David McLaughlin


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