- 1 August 2013
Part 2 – Mistake #1 – Not involving the head of the organization in the decision-making process
Not involving the head of the organization in the decision-making process.
You wouldn’t open a new warehouse or branch location without involving your business leaders, so why do a significant number of distributors exclude their owner, managing director, or CEO from the enterprise software decision-making process? In today’s technology-driven world, perhaps no other decision can have a greater impact on your company’s success or failure. However, thinking it’s strictly a technology issue; top executives often leave the decision solely to their information technology (IT) staff. In reality, purchasing software is a pure business decision.
Unless the IT team understands the vision of the company for the next 5-10 years, they cannot judge the value a software solution will bring to the business. The top executive should always lead the search for new software by establishing a vision for the project.
Because the software selected will impact almost every employee within the organization, the success or failure of the new software often hinges on whether, or not the people who will use it buy into the decision. Line managers in each operational area must have some input in the decision-making process. That is not to say that theirs is the only vote that counts, but understanding their day-to-day issues will help you make an informed decision.
Finally, input from the IT staff is necessary to ensure that the software solution you select can carry your business into the future. Software that meets your needs today can become obsolete in six months if the technology that the software is built upon can’t grow and adapt with your business.
Ideally, the team selecting your new enterprise software solution should include a high-level executive sponsor with long-range vision; line managers from each discipline to confirm proper functionality; and IT staff to ensure that you have the best technology infrastructure for the present and future.
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