Joe Rotella is the chief marketing officer for Ohio's Delphia Consulting. During the June 2016 national conference of the Society for Human Resource Management, Rotella told attendees that getting executives and other decision makers to invest in technology can be a decidedly tricky process.
"You will not succeed if you're a renegade and you wait to present a finished solution at some meeting," Rotella said. He added that executives will almost always want their input to part of the process, something that isn't always considered.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to justify these tech-related investments and ensure implementation goes smoothly. Here are four that your organization should consider:
1. Look inward
Rotella also explained that the first step of the justification is a thorough self-assessment. Companies need to know what solutions or concepts are most important to the flow of business. Rotella said that there were several important considerations for all businesses to mull over, including:
• Overall flexibility and scalability.
• Available training and subsequent implementation.
• The level of individual customization.
• Cloud-based solution vs. on-premise servers.
• How automated the whole process will prove to be.
2. Develop a partnership
The provider your company ends up going with will become a teammate as you develop and maintain your suite of various technologies. As such, you need to take steps to ensure you've chosen the right partner in this extended process. Before making a decision regarding any provider, make sure you've done plenty of homework. That means reading reviews, going over online demos and examining their marketing collateral. If you want to be truly in-depth, set up demos from the potential providers.
This way, you're getting a truly solid idea of how the software works within specific, real-life scenarios. Finally, for any potential provider, make sure you clearly and succinctly communicate your requirements. This is fundamental to getting what you need and establishing an effective partnership.
3. Do your homework
Understanding the value of a solution should be an extended process. It's not about simply checking to see if each option features your various requirements, but if each of these features lives up to your expectations. Rotella said each feature should be rated individually and then multiplied by its overall "weight" or importance. These ratings will give you a definite base to fully understand the intricacies of each solution, which you'll need to make the most effective decision possible.
Gut instinct or feelings have their place, but Rotella suggested that they not be the be-all, end-all, as they don't leave room for enough objectivity. Finally, don't simply take the final version of any solution. A so-called "playground site" can help you understand the solution and tease out any issues or shortcomings.
4. Develop a business case
Having written proposals and reports from potential vendors is of the utmost importance, according to Rotella. That way, you have established your requirements and have proof that the vendor has received these demands. But Rotella added that companies most also have their own set of documents assembled in the form of a business case.
This collection of documents includes, among other items, a cost-benefit analysis, a report of alternative solutions, a list of primary restraints your organization has, and what Rotella called an "analysis of business process performance." Perhaps most important of all, though, is that a business case must include some statement of why a new solution is needed and how it will fit within the company's existing strategy.
You're trying to sell leadership on this idea, according to Rotella, and so you need to make sure there is a sign-off sheet to ensure accountability on the executive's end.
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