When it comes to upgrading an existing technology solution or implementing new technology, the most daunting part of the process is often the first step: evaluating your options.
At Reachify, we help enterprise brands evaluate technologies that power their business. So naturally, we make it our business to know what brands are looking for when evaluating vendors. Reachify’s goal is to help you attain yours. We ease that overwhelming first step in software selection to ultimately improve how you serve your customers.
In order to simplify the process, we surveyed enterprise technology decision-makers. We asked them, “what are the most important questions to ask when evaluating software?” Here’s what we learned:
Five key software evaluation questions
1. Is there a comprehensive list of enterprise technologies that solve my need?
With CompTIA projecting 4.1% IT industry growth in 2017, it’s no surprise that decision-makers have a hard time keeping up with the slew of mergers, acquisitions, and new vendors in the industry. In addition to the fast moving market, decision-makers want to ensure that the vendors they partner with can support their business size. This often means weeding out the vendors that serve smaller companies to only evaluate enterprise-capable vendors. Therefore, many decision-makers start by asking for a list of enterprise focused vendors within a specific solution category.
2. Who do my competitors use?
Competitors are often driven by FOMO – fear of missing out. It’s intuitive to want to know what the competition is up to. In fact, you may say it’s irresponsible to not know what technologies other companies in your space are investing in. That’s why so many executives and decision-makers want to know what software leaders in their industry are using.
We also know that executives look to their competition because they are often faced with similar challenges, share a comparable business size, and have many of the same business needs. Exercising competitive research and peer references first allow the wisdom of the crowds to do some work on your behalf.
3. What are thought leaders using?
A thought leader in social media strategy is different than a thought leader in Big Data. Each brand looks to the thought leaders within their discipline to aspire to learn and take advantage of the technologies that these influencers use. It’s worth asking, “If it works for them, why not for me?”
4. What is compatible with my software stack?
As technology becomes more complex and software stacks continue to grow, the decision-making process becomes even more complicated. Therefore, it’s essential to know which technologies will work with your current software stack. Decision-makers want to not only know that the cartridge or APIs are available to connect technologies but more importantly, they want to see proof via peers successfully deploying a particular combination of software. For solution providers, identifying which customers use which sets of technologies in combination, can make for the most successful references.
5. What is the vendor’s market share?
Brands often want to know which vendor is the 800-pound gorilla that dominates the market. Furthermore, many companies are interested in knowing the leading technology vendors who serve their specific vertical. In other words, an apparel retailer wants to know which solution provider is dominating the apparel market, not which vendor is doing the best job catering to the beauty and cosmetic market.
While these may only be a small portion of the questions you ask when evaluating vendors and their software, they are a critical first step in narrowing the playing field. Once all options have been evaluated, the solution selection process in order to improve customer experience is made much easier.
While there are many resources that compile information, none address all the important questions as clearly as Reachify’s ShortList. ShortList displays all of these points in a customizable and comprehensive manner, in one place, free to use, and always up to date.
Make informed software decisions.
Learn more about how ShortList can help you find your next technology partner.