10 Questions to Consider Before Signing an Enterprise Software Deal, Part 2
Make sure you’ve read Part 1 before continuing on for more questions you should ask before signing a technology software deal.
6. Will You Be Stuck Tomorrow with Yesterday’s Technology?
Before signing with a technology provider, it’s important to evaluate if they have a culture of customer-focused innovation that guarantees the solutions they provide will continue to be the best, most-relevant, technologically-advanced solutions.
As such, it’s important to know: does the provider have an innovation mindset and incorporate ground-breaking practices? Strategic software selection begins with picking a technology partner who is constantly looking at the market and advancements in technology to provide the latest and greatest solutions that positively impact your business. A strategic partner also understands your environment and what makes you unique—bringing you best practices and ways to use the solution that will help you differentiate and continue to improve your business over time.
7. Are You in Control or Will You Be Held Captive by The Provider?
Knowing what obligations you’re agreeing to when signing an enterprise deal should play a huge role in your decision making. For example, it’s crucial to know whether the system allows you to leverage your internal resources and control the application in-house, or if you’ll need to depend solely on the technology provider (and any addition costs that may include).
Therefore, it’s necessary to evaluate the following: is the solution configurable by your team without IT specialist experience? Does the provider give you deployment options that fit your business strategy and your internal resource availability? Do they have an experienced professional services team, options (e.g. hosting), and approaches for an enterprise-level customer? Will you have the flexibility to provide resources for the implementation process if you choose to do so?
8. Can You Access Your Own Data in Real-Time, Anytime?
In today’s realm, having access to real-time data and reporting is crucial for making accurate and informed decisions about your business and keeping you competitive.
Given these circumstances, ask yourself and your provider the following: do you have direct access to your data at all times, 24x7x365? Is the data real-time and actionable? Does the company provide you with reporting capabilities and reports, in addition to direct data access? Are you able to create custom reports and add unlimited custom fields for any record type? Will you be able to view the real-time performance data against goals you’ve set in order to manage your business? Will anything pertaining to your data access or reporting require additional costs and/or add-on service requirements? Are there restrictions on the frequency of data access without additional costs? Will you be able to access your data on your own and in your timeframe, without additional costs, if you choose to replace the provider with an alternative solution in the future?
9. Will The Company Exist 2, 5, Or Even 10 Years from Now?
Further, it is also important to consider the stability and future of the technology provider; you want to make sure that you’re signing up with a technology partner that will last the test of time.
Consider these conditions: is the company growing or declining? Are they losing or gaining market share? Are they making important investments in their team, business model, and infrastructure? How will the company keep pace with growth (e.g. does the company have a depth of experience in its leadership ranks, as well as throughout the company, to support growth)?
10. Is The Company a Leader or a Follower?
While this question relates to others on this list, it is distinct in that it deals with both the position that the provider takes in the market, and the value they add to your business.
Make sure to do the proper research to answer the following: are they a market leader—introducing best-in-class solutions in their product categories? Are their products designed specifically for enterprise-level companies, and do they continue to introduce solutions and applications of their technology ahead of others in the market? Does the company demonstrate ongoing thought leadership that will bring innovative best practices, technologies, product extensions, ideas, and value-added information to help you improve your business?
Ultimately, choosing a third-party to assist you with your staffing and recruiting business can feel overwhelming, confusing, and daunting; but if carried out with careful thought and consideration, the right partner can take your firm to new heights!
What’s more, utilizing an independent industry expert can provide you with guidance regarding pre-vetted technology providers to best suit your business’ needs. To learn more about People 2.0’s consultative services, as well as customizable back-office solutions to support your growing staffing or recruiting organization, click here!