What Are Main Steps In The Software Acquisition Process – Signs That New Software Is Needed Business Versus Software Requirements Where Requirements Are Used 5 Costs of Bad Software Purchases The Book on Software Selection Software Purchase Case Studies Software Selection Glossary

When considering purchasing business software, people often think about selecting the software. While this is an essential part of the process, there are more things that need to be done before and after selection to ensure the software delivers the desired business value.

What Are Main Steps In The Software Acquisition Process

What Are Main Steps In The Software Acquisition Process

Software purchasing (also known as software acquisition) considers the entire process “from soup to nuts” and is made up of 4 steps:

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One of the reasons software purchases don’t add value is because stages 1 and 4 above are ignored. Each stage is the foundation for success in the next stage. This blog article describes the 4 stages and explains how they work together to bring a software purchasing project to a successful conclusion.

The business vision exists to guide the establishment of business goals. When a goal is achieved, the vision guides the creation of a new goal. Vision should never be achievable while goals are achievable and measurable.

These goals will be achieved and are expressed as business requirements. These are the “real” requirements because business value is only created when business objectives are achieved.

Must be delivered to achieve business goals, and value comes from achieving those goals. The software requirements themselves describe

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This value will be delivered by the software. (There are other business requirements unrelated to the software, but they are not of interest to us here.)

The first step in purchasing software is defining the vision, objectives, strategy and business requirements and ensuring they are aligned. The business requirements themselves describe the desired future state of the new software from a business perspective. This foundation must be established before software requirements are considered.

If a vision is achievable, it is not a vision but a goal. When a goal is far enough away, it can disguise itself as a vision, but when it is achieved it no longer provides any guidance.

What Are Main Steps In The Software Acquisition Process

In the early 1990s, Microsoft’s “vision” was “a computer on every desk and in every home.” When this was achieved in the late 1990s, they stumbled because there was nothing to guide future goal setting. Microsoft went from leading the market to struggling to remain relevant in the early 2000s.

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Compare this to Apple, a company that has used its vision excellently. To paraphrase Tim Cook’s 2015 commencement address at George Washington University: “Most people have forgotten, but in 1997, Apple had been adrift for years. No rudder. However, Steve Jobs thought Apple could be great again. His vision was a company that turned powerful technology into easy-to-use tools that helped people achieve their dreams and improve the world.”

Think about the products made by Apple with Steve Jobs at the helm: the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad and how they made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world. This shows the power of vision. In contrast, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s reaction to the new iPhone was that it was expensive, had no keyboard, and that he really liked Microsoft’s phone strategy. He simply didn’t understand Steve Jobs’ vision. (See Ballmer laughing at the iPhone) This lack of vision caused Microsoft to fail in the smartphone market, while Apple came to dominate it.

A vision acts like the rudder of a ship, guiding and directing the organization. Aligns goal setting and coordinates everyone’s activities. Everything is choreographed to move in the right direction at the right time. Everything supports everything else. Resources and time are not wasted on distractions and objectives are achieved faster.

The new software must deliver to add value. Business requirements also describe the ideal future state of the software from a business perspective. Thus, business requirements are the foundation that must be established before software requirements can be developed.

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Business requirements will be met and will come from libraries or can be acquired from users and through reverse engineering of the latest features of potential products. Once software requirements are defined, process owners and users must evaluate the importance of these requirements. This creates your company’s unique software requirements specification and is used to create the RFP. Requirements interviews should be designed to collect information from users that will be needed for implementation.

When vendors respond to the RFP, these responses are used to measure the extent to which potential software products meet your requirements and the most suitable software is selected. The last step in software selection is to verify that the RFP responses accurately represent the software’s capabilities and that the software has not been misrepresented. This completes the second step of purchasing the software.

Once the software has been tentatively selected, the next steps are to check references and RFP responses. Verification reduces the risk that the vendor will misrepresent the functionality of the software. The implementation SOW (Statement of Work) is negotiated and defines exactly what the implementation team will do.

What Are Main Steps In The Software Acquisition Process

Finally, contracts are negotiated and signed with the software publisher and the systems integrator who will implement the software. These vendors have spent years perfecting the art of maximizing customer revenue. You need someone who specializes exclusively in software negotiations to negotiate the best contract terms for your needs, protect you from future price increases, and more.

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Once the contracts are signed, you need a successful manager to look after your interests in the implementation project. This person must also transfer the knowledge acquired during selection to systems integrator employees. For best results, plan to use consultants who specialize in services such as data cleaning and migration, change management, etc. This fourth step ends when the implementation passes user acceptance testing and you release the software into production.

The diagram above illustrates the 4 steps of the software acquisition process. To learn more about the software purchasing process, click the [Contact] button below. With no obligation, let’s explore whether we can help make your software purchase a huge success for your organization and you personally. It’s hard to get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going, and most SaaS entrepreneurs I know start out during their early years, groping blindly through the woods. Some succeed in spite of themselves, others count on the help of people who have already walked or been guided along this path before, but the majority fail.

Step by step, your SaaS development process interweaves almost every aspect of business building, software development, customer acquisition and activation, and attrition minimization aspects.

You will need to know your path and how it all fits together. So in this section, I’ve outlined your process from start to finish and explained the principles of each area so you know where to start and where to go as you progress through the rest of the chapters.

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Validating your business is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do. It is very important that this book has an entire chapter on product validation.

If you don’t validate your idea, your chance of success will be absolutely minimal. I don’t mean one in ten, I mean you have about a one in a thousand or less chance of succeeding. But if you have a good idea and start building it without testing it, you’re probably throwing your money away. Make sure you don’t skip the Validation chapter!

It may seem like a lot of questions and a lot of work, but it’s much easier to answer a few questions than it is to explain to yourself, your investors, or your partner or spouse what happened to all your money.

What Are Main Steps In The Software Acquisition Process

No. A SaaS business is a sales and marketing business. You need to start marketing first for several reasons.

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Every business is different and things change a lot depending on your system, your customers and much, much more. But the process mentioned above is what I have seen more often than anything else. Most steps will be followed in one way or another.

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