It is ironic that the software industry that serves the North American government regulatory sector is, itself, unregulated. Therefore, we strongly encourage our prospective clients to adopt a “buyer beware” mentality as they evaluate vendors and potential software solutions. Further, in this era of diminishing capital budget cycles and shrinking budgets, your chosen technology solution – and, therefore, your relationship with the selected vendor – will likely need to last at least 10 to 15 years! You owe it to yourself and your organization to consider wisely who you are going to forge this relationship with.
Computronix strongly encourages an agency to look beyond a vendor’s proposal and product demonstration in order to investigate further. We advise agencies to provide significant weighting to such criteria as the vendor’s project track record, client references, and financial stability as these factors tend to be the strongest predictors of project success. Gain as much information as you can about the selected vendor and their technology solution to determine the overall likelihood not only of initial project success, but of a positive and enjoyable, long-term “win-win” relationship with the vendor.
There are a number of tools available to you to help you independently assess a vendor, including the following:
NEXT WEEK: Further vendor evaluation methods and resources.