Know Your Vendor

While thumbing through the February edition of CIO magazine, we came to this article: “A tsunami of IT project disasters is on the horizon“. You already feel better about that core system replacement you’ve been contemplating, don’t you?

If that didn’t cheer you up, this certainly will:

We’re talking spectacular failures that disrupt supply chains, delay the reporting of financials, and blow up the careers of seemingly competent executives … These are the types of failures that are created when enterprises “go-live” with an implementation that, in hindsight, will be deemed done in a reckless fashion.

We love the smell of Chicken Little in the morning.

The article goes on to list four harbingers of doom (the actual phrase used in the article), along with three tips for avoiding the impending apocalypse:

  • Make it real.
  • Establish go-live criteria early.
  • Independent view.

If you’re up for it, you can read the entire article. Regardless, we humbly off three other means of averting the cataclysmic consequences predicted in CIO.

Count ‘Em

No enterprises have to fail. No careers of seemingly competent executives have to be blown up. No hindsight will be necessary. And there will be no recklessness involved or accused if you follow these three simple rules:

  1. Know your vendor. How long has your vendor been around? How many customers does it have? What do those customers have to say about the vendor?
  2. Know your vendor. Is your vendor financially and organizationally stable? Is it heavily leveraged? If so, who are its investors? How long have they been invested? Are they getting a return on their investment? Does the vendor’s responsibility to give its investor(s) a return affect its pricing? Are you sure?
  3. Know your vendor. How many implementations has your vendor done? How many were successful? How many were on budget? How many of its customers came to them after another vendor’s implementation failed?
We Get It

We understand the prospect of a system replacement is scary. If it didn’t make you a little nervous, we’d be worried about you. That’s why we’d like you to know our worrying goes into making each implementation as smooth and successful as it can be. If it weren’t, our customers would go elsewhere.

But they don’t.

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