How to Select Software Like a Pro: The March Madness

Written By: Paresa Noble
Date: March 25, 2022

If you’re about to begin the software selection process and feel like you don’t know where to begin or are stuck between which solution is right for your company, then it’ll be helpful to look at the process as you’d look at a March Madness bracket.

A digital transformation starts with the software selection process, but a lot of companies burn out at this stage. There are multiple full-scope ERP systems and countless focused best-of-breed solutions out there and having so many options to choose from can make the selection process a bit daunting. After all, a digital transformation project is a complex and expensive endeavor, and the last thing you want to do is pick the wrong software that doesn’t drive efficiencies as you need it to.

The same is true when it comes to your March Madness bracket. The stakes may not be as high, but if you pick the wrong team going to the end, then you will lose out on the bet and might have to bring in donuts for the whole office. Whether you are dialing in on which of the hundreds of systems are best or which of the 68 teams will take the championship title, the same best practices ring true.

1. Trust your knowledge

It will be easier for someone who has been engrained in the industry and the greater company to narrow in on a shortlist of software solutions. In that same breath, your first step to building a winning bracket is to watch college basketball, get acquainted with the teams and their individual strengths, and learn who stands out amongst the crowd. Otherwise, you’re simply banking on luck to get you through in both cases.

When evaluating software, it is important to lean on your knowledge of your industry and company complexities. Consider the specific needs of your business and how they differ from other businesses in your same industry. Understand what your differentiating factors are as an organization and try to find software that will accentuate your competitive advantage. This will help you hone in on the systems that are the best fit.

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2. Understand the Future State

The future state of your business, at its core, is comprised of your target company culture and your target operating model. What does your company hope to achieve in the next five years? How will the software you select help you get there?

The software you select should drive efficiencies and remove or smooth the edges of the barriers that are holding your organization back. These barriers could be things like having too many manual processes, a lack of organization in process workflows, or bottlenecks.

Every team has a target operating model they are trying to hit. It’s more than just getting the ball in the basket, the target for each team in the competition is to become a high-performing team. Which teams do you think have hit their future state? Which teams have great communication, high caliber talent, strong work ethic, and unmatched synergy? Those characteristics mixed with a bit of luck will take a team to the championship.

3. Focus on Improvements

Focus on business process improvements. What processes do you want to optimize? How will a given software help you achieve these goals? Businesses often select software based on what they think they need today, but it’s important to also consider future needs when making a decision. Prioritize the processes that will move the needle toward your future state, and only consider software solutions that can drive efficiencies within those processes.

Yes, Duke and Gonzaga have always been top runners, but just because they have taken the cake in years past doesn’t mean they’ll do it again. Just because you’ve heard SAP or Microsoft Dynamics have been great solutions over the years doesn’t mean they will do great for your company and its specific needs in today’s consumer production climate. There are so many other solutions that have changed and improved their products over the years, and they are now competing with the big players.

As a technology-agnostic consulting firm, we evaluate and prioritize our clients’ processes and find the best software solution that helps them reach their strategic goals. If you and your team need a sounding board to explore which software solutions are the best fit for your company, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly. You can also follow us on YouTube for helpful videos around all things digital and business strategy to help keep your company on track to winning in today's technological climate.

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Paresa Noble
As a seasoned digital transformation, legal, and finance copywriter, Paresa has enabled businesses large and small to share their ideas and develop as thought leaders within their respective industries. Paresa's entrepreneurial agency experience has given her insights into the nuances of business development and the efficiencies that artificial intelligence and emerging technologies bring to the table.
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