When looking for a technology vendor, it can be difficult to know where to begin. It’s important to remember that there isn’t one holy-grail technology solution that will solve all your problems. It’s really about understanding what you need (and why) before finding a solution that’s best for you and your company. It’s crucial to go through a serious evaluation period before making your decision.
Here are some tips to get on the right path to finding a technology solution:
1) Understand your goal of adopting a new technology
Too many people adopt a technology solution thinking it is going to solve a problem magically. By itself, the technology doesn’t solve anything unless you know what you want to solve. Ask yourself, where do you want to be tomorrow and why?
2) Define your business use cases
Clearly articulate your business use cases. You cannot properly evaluate a vendor if you don’t know what are you core use cases are.
3) Set out your requirements
What do you and your team need? Gain an understanding for where there’s flexibility and where there’s limitations. For example, IT may have requirements in terms scalability, compliance and security.
4) Do your research
What’s out there? Compare similarities and differences between vendors. Look at reviews from customers and other unbiased sources. What companies are using this tool? Are they similar to you?
5) Ask the right questions based off your research
Begin an ongoing conversation with the vendors you’re interested in to get the information you need. When talking to vendors, lead with your key questions.
6) Ask for a demo based off your specific use cases
Ask yourself, is this a practical application for my use cases? Seeing a bunch of features is great, but knowing how a tool will work for you is what you ultimately need to know.
7) Start small
Don’t try and roll out the technology across your whole company right away. Test out the technology in a small group first.
8) Test, iterate, evaluate
What’s working? What isn’t? What’s easier than you expected? What’s harder? What are the results? Who needs more training? Ask yourself these questions and address issues right away.
9) Use the results from your small group as your ROI
Don’t buy into vendor ROI- prove it for yourself. Based off your small group testing, look at your results. These are results you can show the rest of your department, company etc.
Once you’ve decided on a vendor, you will need to start thinking about how you’re going to roll out change in your company. For tips on how to manage change, check out this article.
What tactics have helped you find the right technology vendor? Leave us a comment below!