2 cents about investing in IT solutions

My 2 Cents about: Investing in IT Solutions

In today’s business markets, success is a continuous moving target within a multi-variable environment, it does not matter if you are a small “mom and pop” business or a large multinational corporation. Controlling costs and allowing the business to execute efficiently and on-time is a never ending task, always evolving and as soon as you feel that everything is working at is best the market and the competitors change the game, starting the circle again.
With the fast paced evolution of technology, both hardware and software, IT vendors promise to deliver the latest in technology at the best ROI’s, and features are not a decisive factor anymore for the selection of a solution. To make a sound investment decision (money, time and resources) we need to be proactive and do our homework before we even engage with any vendor or we will have results like, pulling the plug on $125 mil. ERP implementation or repeating the bad experience of some companies failed $1 billion worth ERP and logistics management solution implementation.
So here are my 2 cents on what is important to know BEFORE you Invest in IT Solutions:

Do I know my business?

Instead of asking What your business delivers, let’s ask How you are delivering it.
A large percentage of IT solutions are implemented without challenging the current business process and at the end of the implementation you end-up with the well-known “garbage-in garbage-out” scenario. Business processes should execute as efficient as they can first, before an advanced solution is implemented, in this way you will be able to clearly articulate your goals and expectations realize the benefits of the solution for your organization and the implementation will have a greater level of success for you and your IT provider.

Do I have enough knowledge about the solution I am looking for?

For and example, let’s say that I would offer to buy a $60k car for you , but you need to tell me the brand, model and features before I buy it for you, What would you do ?
95% of the people will say, well I need to look at the cars I like in that price range , compare their features , reliability, check on any recalls and look at the good and bad experiences of other owners. For good or bad all this information is available in the Web and it serves as an awesome tool for us not only to select goods and services but also to negotiate the price we are willing to pay.
The more educated we are about our IT provider’s solutions, their features, successes and failures, the more we will have the upper hand during our selection process. Educate yourself!

Is my IT provider invested in my business?


Ok by now, I know how my business works, I have gathered enough knowledge about the solution that I am looking for so I have the upper hand during the selection process, but now we are missing one of the most important factors to be successful. Is my IT provider invested in my business?

From the initial engagement with an IT provider sales organization, you will know if your business is important for them or not, your IT provider should have at least a very good understanding of your industry, real-life examples of best business practices for the areas that you are looking to improve and provide strong existing customer references that you can contact directly to ask about their real experience with their service, support and investment on getting to know your business and goals.
So my 2 cents are not a mantra or an absolute truth but I encourage you to try this, you will notice the difference.

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