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Software Selection Process
Organizations must consistently review the tools and applications to determine needs for redefining and improving existing processes for efficiency or preparing for expected growth. Either need could make a difference in how competitive the business is within their individual industries. Oftentimes a review of existing processes will lead to the decision of the need for new software. With this decision, the business should initially have a clear determination as to what is driving the need for change. Understanding reasons for change will make it easier to compare the project needs with the overall objectives of the business to insure both are in alignment. Reviewing key business initiatives along with current and future user and business requirements is necessary to determine objectives and measurable goals when going through the software selection process.
Once needs and objectives are determined, a business should form a cross-functional team to represent all aspects of the business as they work toward obtaining a consensus regarding high-level requirements that a new software system should meet. Software selection is a significant change within a business and should involve a top down approach. Executive support for the project is critical to its success because once top-level support is provided, managers down the chain will concurrently follow through with support. This support will further influence stakeholder buy-in, business support, and budget approvals for the project.
Both functional and technological requirements should be considered prior to initiating a list of vendors for the needed software system. A diverse project team will be able to identify a thorough list of objectives, goals and requirements that will aid the business in choosing potential software vendors. The Internet, trade magazines, consultants and industry associations are excellent resources to find potential software vendors that...
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