This needs to be specifically identified from a business perspective, the means to achieve and the ultimate business benefit should be put forward by the management team. A bottom up approach is the most appropriate in identifying the said requirement. Most organizations make the lethal mistake of considering this to be the IT team’s responsibility. The expected benefits need to be detailed sufficiently and measurable KPI’s should be assigned.
Product technology should be evaluated in consultation with the CIO, or a technology consultant. The continuity of the technology availability of resource personnel are not to be ignored. The following key points should be looked into.
- Architecture & technological environment
- Usability and administration
- Platform and database support
- Application standards support
- Communications and protocol support
- Integration capability
Under the financial feasibility the product cost should be evaluated in detail. If the organisation is expected to achieve an ROI within a certain period then the cost of ownership until such time should be considered in the evaluation process. This commitment could then be incorporated in the contract with the supplier. A guild line of the possible cost brake down is listed below.
- Software cost
- Implementation cost
- Training cost
- Maintenance fees
- Upgrade fees
- Service and support
- Hidden costs if any
Having a cost commitment for the period within which the organisation intend to have its ROI achieved would immensely assist the organisation from the vendor surprising the organisation with hidden cost items, scalability limitation etc. We will cover the aspects of recommended selection process of a suitable vendor, and the related areas in our next issue.