As complicated as most companies seem to make it, the critical factors in software selection boil down to a select few:

  1. Understand your business – what are the critical functional requirements? Don’t worry about everything required in every module to run your business. Instead, take a step back and focus on what is key to your business success and what is unique to your business.
  2. Understand your technology – what are the critical technical requirements? Given the current IT infrastructure, technical budget constraints and industry norms, and service levels requirements, define your technical requirements.
  3. Understand your culture / employee base – what is expected in terms of change? Is an entrepreneurial spirit the norm? Or is absolute clarity a must? What does that mean in terms of education?
  4. Understand your training requirements – how in-depth do you want each person to understand their job function and tools to accomplish it? There can be a significant upfront cost to training – what type of investment and return on investment is expected?
  5. Understand resource requirements – money & time. There are endless options with varying degrees of benefit and cost. Be realistic (even though most companies agonize over the software cost, it isn’t the key; implementation is always a multiple of the software cost).