The decision-making process is now more complicated than ever as organizations want the inclusion of all stakeholders that can use or benefit from technology. Our target when investing in technology is to have a 5X return. When someone in the business suggests a new tech purchase, they have to think about a case how the company will benefit from having a 5X return on the investment. When we have determined that there will be a substantial value added in the transaction, we will take the following five-step approach to our decision.
1. List the issues to be addressed by priority
This move allows you to look hard at why you want to implement new technologies and why you need it. What kind of problems do you have and how important are these problems? When you think about your problems, take a look at your company and spend time with a team that represents the various people who can use the technology to figure out in a qualitative way what the problems are and the value of those issues.
Once an issue has been fixed, what’s the result? Can you save the accounting team ten hours a week? After you’ve decided what your issues are, list them in order of priority. And the top issue being the most important, descending in order of importance.
2. Review of vendors
It’s time to do your analysis after you’ve established your issues. Educate yourself and check the vendors you’re interested in buying from. Using places like Gartner or G2 Crowd for their databases. And you can find credible feedback to help you discover vendors and narrow down your list.
Look at the trustworthiness of your vendors; read their feedback online. Be aware that often businesses have fake reviews online–you can see them by reading a few reviews. If they all sound pretty much the same, or they sound like they were written by the same person, take a second look. This may mean that these are fake reviews.
3. Test services on the basis of how well they address problems
It’s easy to get caught up in looking at the new features that a company provides. And lose sight of the true importance of solving your problems. The easy way to prevent this is to approach the vendor with a particular problem that you have during the project demonstration and ask them to show you how their technology can solve this problem.
During this demonstration, you can also gage how well the provider can handle any additional issues that might arise in the future. After this demonstration, you can reliably assess the vendor on the basis of how well a problem can be overcome. Then, you can narrow the list down to a shortlist of the top three firms.
Finally, during the product demo/review process, you can also get a sense of company culture to see how it fits with your company culture. This may sound insignificant, but it is important; for example, a fast-paced law firm with workers working a lot of hours may not mesh well with a relaxed technology firm providing help from 8 to 5.
4. Negotiate with the top picks
You will decide what the bottom line price is by bargaining with your top options in order to get the best possible price. Make sure that you get a complete explanation of the pricing and structure of each provider. Compare rates, but make sure that you also take other considerations into consideration. And do not allow price to be the only factor influencing your decision. See if there is room for negotiation.
Your first step in the negotiation process is to see what the overall cost is for each vendor. This can be achieved by obtaining pricing scenarios from each vendor on the basis of different contract lengths, consumer count, implementation, etc to model annual and overall interaction costs. Some vendors are very negotiable. It will cut their price by half under the right circumstances, while others will stick to their retail price.
It is necessary to know what your net investment would be in deciding the value of the technology. If you will need to upgrade the program later ask if you are locked in to a particular provider. It is to make sure you know what the ongoing cost of customizations is. Negotiate the lowest rates with each seller.
5. A decision based on value and vision
The best option should give you importance, as well as a straightforward path to solve your problems. In addition, the vendor you select should have a philosophy of constant innovation, where they constantly aim to step forward and create new ways to solve problems.
After completing the previous four steps, you should have all the details you need to make an informed, wise decision to choose your technology vendor.