I was recently ran into someone who's job title was "Software Consultant". "Why would someone need a software consultant?" I asked, "Doesn't that normally fall on the IT department?". I was told that in most cases it did. But in some cases this may not be the best way to bring on critical software for an organizations. The following list gives a few reasons why a Software Consultant may help a company make better software decisions:
- Software solution requirements needed by the "business group" have not been properly analyzed. Not enough details or user expectations were uncovered in order to make a decision. Perhaps due to the next reason.
- The IT team does not have the "bandwidth" to devote appropriate time to the project. They are so busy with current projects and demands that analyzing software is not the priority.
- There may be a disconnect between the end users desire for specific business processes and the IT team's "system environment" constraints.
- The IT department's desire for retaining control may limit their objectivity in looking at "hosted" software solutions
- In some cases there are communication issues between departments ("trust" between departments may not be part of the corporate culture), while hopefully this is not the case with your company, this type of situation does exist.
The group this individual works for, starts their process by performing a very detailed analysis of expectations expected from the software. This task involves all of individuals who will be working with the software (users and IT). A list is made. gathering user expectations and process vision. With this information they objectively analyze software options available in the marketplace. This list along with the reasons for their inclusion are presented to a steering committee. They schedule demo's of each software and help with the evaluation process. They will then help facilitate the decision process.
This discussion was enlightening for me. Our company is vendor neutral and do not suggest mortgage software solutions. In most cases, our prospects/clients have usually already decided what mortgage software they will be using. If they are still looking, I can suggest barriers they may be hitting and provide tactics that will help them make a more informed decision.
How do you choose your business software tools?
- Give the project to IT?
- Strictly a cost decision?
- Always pick the industry leader?
- Suggestions from peers?