Software selection is not just about functionality

Software selection is an important and often daunting choice for any business.

When selecting a new software system, historically many businesses have followed the route of listing the detailed functionality requirements into a Request for Proposal (RFP), and distributing this to several suppliers. The responses would be reviewed and marked, and a software demonstration focusing on the functionality would follow. The outcome being a preferred software supplier to then begin financial negotiations with.

Though functionality is an important part of selecting a new software system, there are many other factors that should be considered. Recent times have illustrated the need for businesses to be agile and adaptable to change, it is important that your software systems and the supplying vendors also have these traits. There is little point trying to make an adaptable business decision that is dependent on a change to one of the key business systems, only to be told by the system vendor that you must wait 6 months for the next scheduled software update for any changes.

It is important when selecting a new software system to understand that you are not just selecting a new software package, but you are also selecting a new vendor to partner with that your business will be reliant on. Therefore, it is key to ascertain the cultural fit of the vendor – “what are the people like you will be working with each day during the implementation?”, “what will the vendor be like to work with in a time of crisis?” Evaluating the values and ethos of a vendor, and how they align to your own business values is also an area that is commonly overlooked.

At Ballards, we have a tried and tested methodology for helping clients select new software systems.  It helps ensure any new systems selected are beneficial for your business today, but also are aligned to your business strategy ready to support the future state of your business. We fully explore with our clients the cultural fit of any new vendors, to help build a new long lasting and prosperous partnership.

For more information on our system specification and selection service please contact Sean Devlin, Director of IT & Digital Transformation on 01905 794 504 or email

For more information about our services and how we can help your business please get in touch.
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