“More than half of all IT projects fail” – CIO.com
Why do new software deployments fail? … It’s not what you think!
That statistic is frightening, especially when paired with expensive price tags, extensive implementation periods and overall impact on the business. For those who have been responsible for making these decisions, and possibly been in the position of that failure, we understand the pressure you are under. Committing your company to a large software contract along with all of the “soft costs” associated with implementation, integration and user training is no easy feat and often feels like a risky proposition. Subscribe to get more enterprise software deployment best practices, tips & tricks. So how companies go about the discovery, analysis and purchase process? While our article on 7 Factors to Consider When Selecting Software is helpful, the approach from business to business has been similar thus far.
The questions that inner stakeholders ask often look a little like this:
The above questions are often part of the standard solution discovery process, however there are so many factors that make that long, yet seemingly straightforward process difficult.
In addition to these new issues, business must still contend with the usual difficulties associated to running a company cost, mobility, productivity, security, customer satisfaction, and quality in a fast changing environment of software deployment.
B2B businesses lag behind the first adopter to change, B2C retail market. Individual consumers have already embraced online digital capabilities across evaluation and purchasing for nearly all products. However, most B2B sales still rely on the, “who you know”, “one-on-one”, “nothing beats a handshake”, “ let’s break some bread” sale purchase methodology. It’s manual, unscalable, inefficient, incomplete and so last millennium.
As consumers, we don’t buy our vacuums from a door to door salesman. We don’t even go to Sears. We purchase our products and services from a third party digital ecommerce solution, or marketplace, and have the product shipped directly.
Why do we as businesses still go to the 20th century equivalent of a persian rug bazaar, the trade show? Similarly, why do we have the door to door technology sales person show up with technical and executive support to do the “dog and pony show” multiple times to a select audience of moderately-interested representatives that will see the same D&PS with a few potential vendors.
Using a 1000 year old sale and procurement methodology for high tech software/cloud based services is as ridiculous as trying to start a Tesla with a buggy whip.
Without a concrete solution, enterprises are left with some very unattractive alternatives:
These options are not viable or sustainable which therefore result in more chaos, challenges and headaches for the IT team, the users, and the enterprise.
Alright, So Why DO Software Deployments Fail?
So who can you trust when you are the key decision maker pulling the trigger on a high-profile, high-cost purchase? Perhaps your co-workers. Perhaps not. If the software selected is a success, colleagues are likely to jump in on the selection praise. However, if the B2B software purchase is a fail, you may be left standing alone.
How about your vendors? They may take you out to lunch or chat about your favorite sports team, but make no mistake that selling their software to you is their primary, singularly-focused objective.
While it may come as a surprise, the most important determinant in a successful enterprise software purchase and deployment of a third party software purchasing platform is NOT features, functions, or the the vendor with the most customer or employees.
There is no doubt that there are many factors that contribute to a successful technology selection, purchase and deployment. In fact we’ve compiled a list of the top six reasons software purchases and software deployments fail. Follow all of them and you may save yourself from becoming part of 50% plus who fail.
We’ll give you a hint. The products and vendors aren’t the problem…
After you understand why your deployment may fail and what to do about, the next logical questions you need to answer are:
Comfort in Collaboration
Some would say that when the stakes are high, the only one you can depend on to “get ‘er done” is you. That going it alone is the only way to go and that decision by committee only invites unwanted scrutiny and criticism.
However, we are here to tell you that in such big decisions like these, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the key to success is the participation and buy-in of all stakeholders throughout every phase of the project – from discovering the need, to the purchase decision, to deployment and ongoing support of any B2B cloud solutions. In fact a CEB study found that an average of 5.4 people are now involved in a B2B purchase.
Participation and collaboration and approval by all the key stakeholders will ensure that the software selected is successfully deployed, integrated and utilized by all involved.
From research, to comparison, to feature requirements, to testing POC, ROI analysis, software deployment, training and ongoing use, stakeholders must get involved. Every stakeholder across groups including operations, IT , engineering, finance and the executive team must communicate their needs, restrictions and benchmarks along with KPIs to ensure a universally informed and transparent decision is implemented.
Getting all stakeholders involved in the process is not only good for your company it is a great way to showcase your managerial and leadership skill across department at your company while using B2B cloud services.
So there is no doubt that collaboration and transparency among stakeholders is a win for you your co-workers and your company. We understand that this organization, collaboration and implementation can be a daunting, time consuming undertaking. However, the planning and organization upfront is what will save and minimize the potential of failure at the end.
We understand that there is risk in software deployment, but there are processes and systems that can help minimize it. We understand that it is hard to compare all products, but there are systems that are available to easily compare all feature sets and giving you chance to become a software buyer of newest level with risk free. More importantly, we know how hard it is to get everyone in the same room let alone on the same page, but there are capabilities to capture and allow all stakeholders their own opinions. Not forgotten, we know that budgets are tight, but there is free help. However, ultimately, we know that this is a big decision to make, but you don’t have to do it alone.
For more information on how you can access these Enterprise Software Solutions to help you make a better informed decision, feel free to contact us: