As the world moves toward the cloud, many organizations want to update their technological systems. The choices and eventual decisions can be overwhelming, especially in a world full of options with new systems that seem to appear daily. However, a proper technology change and system selection can change the course of an organization and potentially lead to greater efficiencies. To help any change process succeed, an organization must arm itself with the proper information, planning, and even professional assistance to weed through the numerous choices and possibilities.
A key priority for organizations is to equip themselves with direction and knowledge during the selection process. Some major questions to consider include:
- How does the provider of technology fit into the organization’s culture?
The right system can serve an organization for many years; consequently, the provider of that system becomes a major partner in where an organization focuses next. A provider can assist in growth, allowing for system enhancements and changes that help your organization and fit its use cases. During a selection process, identifying how a provider has tailored a demo to fit your organization is important. Some areas to consider when choosing a technology partner include:
- Are they committed to delivering a tailored experience that is worth the company’s resources (both time and money)?
- Are they committed to the upkeep, upgrades, and maintenance of the system so that it not only works today, but also five years from now?
- Do they have a culture that will make the organization’s employees know they will be heard when problems arise?
Keep in mind that you are selecting not only new software, but also the software provider. The culture of the software provider will impact your experience with the software and should be a significant consideration in the selection process.
- What does training for the new system look like?
Determining what type of training your organization will receive is an important factor in the selection process. Many providers offer different training packages, and the package you choose will depend on the type of system and the personnel affected. Training packages can include:
- Canned videos
- Group training
- “Train the trainer” offerings
- Tailored individual trainings
An organization needs to consider who the users are and what they will need for a successful rollout. How do those users function best? Are they the type of employees who can figure things out independently, or do they need someone to show them step by step how the system needs to be used for their exact processes? Answers to these questions are key in deciding what provider or packages you need with your new system.
- What type of tailoring and customization is available?
Even the best-planned and thought-out systems encounter some challenges during implementation and go-live. A question to ask during a system selection is what support the organization gets when these challenges crop up. Certain systems require additional purchases and skills for “customization.” Knowing what an organization is purchasing should be determined before any contract is signed. Certain providers may include some items in a demo that require additional modules or customizations that would not come with a “base price.” Getting halfway through an implementation and realizing you have not purchased everything that was demoed can destroy an organization’s technological road map.
- What is post go-live support?
In most implementations, an implementation team takes you up to full go-live. However, the support post-go-live may vary. For some vendors, go-live is when they have completed their statement of work and the job ends, or the support is transferred to a new team. An organization can find itself having a new system, needing help, and having no one who understands how things were set up. Confirming that after implementation there is a support team that is well versed in the complexities of your organization is essential. This allows for a smoother transition and go-live.
- How will a new system function with our other existing systems?
During any system transition, an organization may have some existing systems remain in place. Careful consideration is critical to evaluate how existing systems and processes will cooperate and coexist with one’s new system. Many sales representatives often say, “We integrate with everything,” but the reality may be quite different. We have found that the word “integrate” can mean any number of things, including:
- Existing connection that is seamless to set up
- An open API that allows for the development of an integration at an extra cost
- A pre-existing third-party integration that requires an extra cost
- An export of data from one system and an import into another
Knowing exactly how your systems will interact will be a significant factor in how you will utilize your new system and be able to function smoothly moving forward. Cutting through the “sales speak” with a vendor and obtaining the details are essential in confirming that the new system is working for you on Day One, instead of you working for the system.
These are just a few of the items to think about during a system selection, and the number of questions can be overwhelming. Knowing what you need or having the right assistance to guide you through the process is vital to success with any technological change. Professionals like the ones at FORVIS can work with your organization to help it make a more informed decision.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS.