Technology solutions are the backbone of an efficient enterprise. Your ERP system manages and tracks resources, your CRM platform handles critical customer data, your managed file transfer software moves encrypted files in high volumes, and your document management product keeps you from drowning in paper forms. For all those processes to run as smoothly as possible, you also need an overarching automation solution.
Even if you are providing high-quality products or services, a poor choice of enterprise automation software can prevent your business from being competitive. Replacing that software or customizing it to do the things it should have done all along can be even more costly.
In order to get it right the first time, here’s how we recommend you approach looking for new enterprise software.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
If you are considering investing in enterprise software, you have probably already identified at least one major inefficiency in your current processes, and you may already have an idea of how that problem could be solved.
While you may have used a product in the past, it can be a mistake to start your software selection process with that product already in mind. Instead, set some high-level goals. For example, you could set out to save your team from working extra hours, or to improve the accuracy of a certain process.
Step 2: Investigate Requirements
This is the part where you determine exactly which features your new solution must have to achieve the goals defined in step 1.
A common oversight during the requirement gathering process is to expect you can create a full list based on what end-users say they need. You should definitely be talking to the people who will use the new software; however, you shouldn’t assume they will know exactly what kind of solution they require. Each user’s perspective is generally limited to their own tasks, so they will have some blind spots when it comes to the possibility of making large changes to the overarching processes.
One way to complete your requirements list is to reverse engineer the list based on the features of potential software products. This is generally a time-consuming process that involves reading documentation and watching multiple product demonstrations to rewrite their features as requirements. Once the larger list is assembled, you can tailor the requirements to your organization and how critical they each are to the goals outlined in the first step.
The JAMS team can save you time in the reverse engineering process for enterprise automation software with our Job Scheduling Checklist. With the checklist’s comprehensive list of requirements for enterprise job scheduling software, you can trim hours or days off of your investigation.
Step 3: Determine Your Budget
You may already have an idea of what you can spend on your new product. If you’re working on a budget, make sure you take into consideration the resources you will save once the solution is implemented. Any true enterprise solution should save you time and increase productivity. Other factors which will affect your budget include:
- Annual maintenance costs
- The cost of any downtime required during setup
- Ongoing training costs
These budget requirements and more make it essential that you focus on finding a solution that provides a concrete return on your organization’s investment. You want it to meet all your current and future needs, without being overpriced. An ideal solution will be able to grow and scale along with your business.
Step 4: Compare Solutions
This is the moment you’ve been preparing for. With your requirements checklist and budget breakdown in hand, approach vendors and schedule demonstrations. Your thorough groundwork will help you ask all the right questions and choose the ideal enterprise software for your company.
It’s important to first compare each product to your requirements checklist. Any solution you consider must have features that accomplish your goals. In situations where multiple products meet your needs, perform additional research into the future of each product and the quality of the vendors. Software can have vastly different value for an organization depending on the strength of future enhancements, and how committed the vendor is to ensuring your success.
Choosing a Workload Automation Solution
An enterprise job scheduler is key to accomplishing many standard business objectives, including:
- Saving time
- Saving money
- Integrating automated processes across systems
- Eliminating human error
- Being prepared for auditors
To help you with investigating your requirements, determining your budget, and comparing automation solutions, we offer the JAMS Job Scheduling Checklist.