Choosing a Software Vendor: Tips on Finding ‘The One’

pensive woman looking up thinking about Choosing a Software Vendor

Businesses across sectors have been embracing transformative benefits offered by the latest breakthrough technologies. But to be able to enjoy the rewards, companies need to be sure they are partnering with the right IT provider: the one that has industry expertise and offers quality solutions that won’t become a liability. Unfortunately, according to the report by CISQ, more and more U.S. companies faced software vulnerabilities in 2022. And these failures cost businesses 1.81 trillion dollars. Think about it when choosing a software vendor.

We at USDM have spent more than 20 years consulting our customers on leveraging the right technology while simplifying compliance. So here is our take on the vendor qualification approach and a step-by-step guide to finding a partner that will enhance your operations instead of becoming an unmanageable burden.

Defining business goals and requirements

This is an essential step in any business decision. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. Finding the right software vendor requires a clear understanding of business goals and pain points that the new technology will help minimize.

What problems does your company want to solve? What kind of timeframe are you working with? What resources are you planning to allocate to the project and the upkeep of the systems in the future? These are all the questions to consider while making initial inquiries into potential technology partners.

Getting input from internal teams

The IT and Quality departments and their expertise are essential when it comes to vendor selection. Identifying the main stakeholders within the company, as well as making sure they provide their timely input, should also be on top of the to-do list. More than that, engaging with multi-disciplinary team members during the critical stages of planning and execution will ensure that the new project is compatible with existing infrastructure and meets all the requirements across the organization.

Doing thorough research

Once the team completes the first two stages, it’s time to research potential vendors. This is a straightforward yet crucial step in the process. The secret here is using a variety of channels when gathering information: this includes studying the vendors that have experience with a specific industry, reading reviews and case studies, and even reaching out to businesses that have already purchased and used the solutions you’re considering.

Evaluating vendor capabilities

If you’ve done the initial research and have a shortlist of companies you want to explore, it’s time to understand their capabilities. Make sure they have everything needed to meet your defined business goals and requirements. To do that, you need to investigate their development processes, quality control procedures, and support. At this stage, you should start requesting software demos to assess the tools’ usability, functionality, and compatibility with your infrastructure.

Checking vendor credentials

The other crucial step is ensuring your top choices are trustworthy and have a good reputation within your sector. They should have certifications, awards, or other types of industry recognition that prove they are a reliable partner offering quality services. When choosing a software vendor this is important.

Looking at pricing and contract requirements

Once you’ve decided on your top candidates, start evaluating their pricing policies and contract terms. Both should be transparent and clear to you and your team. It may be worth looking into companies that offer flexible pricing models. Depending on your goals and circumstances, pay-as-you-go or subscription-based options may be more cost effective than traditional licensing models. 

Conducting an audit

Though last on this list, this stage is the most important. After following all the previous steps, it’s time to audit the vendor. A thorough audit will help ensure the vendor’s technology is sufficient for the tasks your business needs addressing.

Audits can be conducted internally or by a qualified third party. As a result, you should be clear on the vendor’s practices around software development, verification and validation, change control, security, and release management. USDM, for instance, provides annual audits for all technology partners in our Cloud Assurance program that can be leveraged as regulatory evidence, saving time and money in your validation processes.

Choosing a Software Vendor

The latest reports on the state of the life sciences market forecast steady growth for the sector between 2022 and 2027. However, the industry’s success will depend on a few factors, including how companies handle storing and managing patient information, improving operational efficiency and increasing the use of innovative technology. Achieving success in the latter will involve choosing a software vendor to help advance business transformation and find new paths to efficiency.


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