Having made the decision to develop a solution you are then faced with a wide range of possible approaches from outsourcing, off the shelf packages or a custom development. As usual all have benefits and drawbacks and the decision making process can be complex. It is essential that you choose the right technology.
Based on extensive experience in sourcing various types of software and services Sauve Solutions has developed a simple 4 step process that guides companies from the earliest evaluation stages through to successful operations.
Develop a business case that examines the options and proposes a way forwards.
Choose the right technology or development partner to undertake the work.
This is where your chosen approach is implemented, where the majority of work is completed (and much of the expenditure)
Your solution is complete – now you need to use it and obtain the benefits.
The first stage is a business case to examine the benefits and options for undertaking any form of investment. This only needs to be as detailed as necessary – from a few simple pages to a comprehensive report with exhaustive financial modelling. The key point is it is fit for purpose to enable you to make an informed decision about the best way to proceed.
This business case needs to consider the financial and non-financial benefits of the custom approach and carefully consider any alternatives that may exist to developing a custom solution.
This stage is completed with a signed off business case and an agreed investment strategy.
Having identified the options available during the justify phase, the next step is to examine your options to undertake the work. This means developing some form of sourcing strategy and may involve running a competitive tendering process or simply purchasing licenses. This ultimately leads to the selection of a solution, negotiation and contract signing.
A second contract may be required to provide the ongoing support for the system.
This stage is completed with the signing of a contract for delivery against a known requirement and plan.
Having chosen a supplier it is necessary to execute the contract, monitor deliverables, control change, review and test artefacts and respond to queries from your chosen supplier. While a lot of effort might be taken by your supplier, it is important that you maintain a close watch on the process to ensure that you obtain what you have asked for.
This stage is completed once you have accepted the delivered product and it is operating in your business, normally at the end of a warranty period.
The final stage of the process is the management of the ongoing operation of the system that has been developed. Increasingly solutions are now delivered in “the cloud” so this no longer means maintaining physical hardware on site, however you need to make sure you have the ability to administer, operate and provide support for the system.
This support could be provided in house or by a third party provider, and the scope of the support agreement could vary, for example to include a certain number of enhancements each year.
This stage is ongoing for as long as the application is in use.