Software Selection Criteria

There are several criteria that one will need to review before selecting commercially available software, especially enterprise software. Here are some of the criteria that can be considered in the evaluation.

# Criteria
1 What technologies are used to develop the software?
2 Is the software also accessible on mobiles and tablets? What functionality is supported / available on mobiles?
3 Will the source code of the application be shared? Can we make the customizations ourselves?
4 Does the software support creation of custom reports?
5 Does the software operate in an ‘offline’ / disconnected mode?
6 What is the implementation plan? How long will it take to implement?
7 What is the estimated downtime during the implementation?
8 How are customizations handled?
9 How easy is it to integrate custom software with the new software? Does it provide easy interfaces (like web services)?
10 What kind of security is implemented by the system?
11 What are the performance / scalability metrics of the software? Are there any limitations on the load / number of users?
12 What kind of audit trail / logs does the software provide?
13 Does the software implement the software security best practices?
14 What kind of documentation is available for the system?
15 What kind of support is being offered by the vendor? What are the SLAs?
16 How is user training planned?
17 What is the software upgrade policy?
18 What kind of administration is required after the implementation?
19 Where will the solution be hosted? Are there any additional hosting charges?
20 What is the cost of the hardware required for the installation of the software?
21 What is the estimated Total Cost of Ownership?

 

Incorrect / incomplete evaluation and selection of enterprise software may lead to loss of productive hours and money. As the needs and priorities are different for each organization, we suggest a structured process to be followed in the evaluation. Each of the criteria can be given weights based on their criticality to the organization. Minimum scores can be defined (for total as well as individual criteria) to ensure that the ‘right’ software is considered.

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