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Asking a Forrester Expert Six Questions on How to Buy Software

by Rob Bruce, VP Marketing

I have been in the software business for 30 years, and over that time I have been on both sides of the software selection process. I understand how challenging this can be and I wouldn’t claim to have all the answers, so I am looking forward to the webinar we have scheduled for May 30 to discuss the challenges associated with software selection.

Our guest for the webinar, entitled “Buying Business Software for Short and Long-term Success”, is an industry-leading authority who has researched and written extensively about buying business software – Duncan Jones, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst in Sourcing & Vendor Management. I’ll be leading a roundtable discussion after Duncan presents his findings, and here are some questions I hope to put in front of a man who truly understands the psychology of software selection.

Six Questions for a Forrester Expert

How have the challenges of buying software changed over time?

The range of available technology just gets wider – what are some of the ways that the advent of the Cloud affected the ways in which we should approach software selections?

What are some of the limitations that buyers place on themselves when they approach buying software and why?

It is common knowledge that there is still a fairly-high failure rate for big IT projects. That knowledge can add to the nervousness we all feel about buying the wrong thing. Does that negatively affect the buying process? How can that be addressed?

How do you create a good buying process?

In many areas of decision-making in business, it is the case that a haphazard or sub-optimal process occasionally gets to the right decision – the converse is also true. But over the long term, having a good process ensures a more consistent outcome. What does a good buying process look like?

What is meant by an agile approach to buying software?

In Duncan’s report, he talks about taking an agile approach. “Agile” is a widely used term in business generally, but how does it translate into buying software?

How should you set selection criteria for software?

A common piece of advice in business is to focus on the outcomes you’re trying to drive, and that is also true when setting selection criteria, but how do you get that to the right level of detail? “We want to make more money” is an outcome – so is “We don’t want to have to double click when enlarging a time entry”. Too high level, too low level, how do get to the right selection criteria?

How can buyers evaluate vendors objectively?

There may be several vendors in a specific market – they may all sound as if they sell something pretty similar. How can the buyer differentiate between them in a way that is based on more than just the sales pitch?

Upcoming Webinar: Buying Business Software to Achieve Short and Long-Term Success

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In this 45-minute webinar, our guest speaker, Duncan Jones – Forrester VP and Principal Analyst in Sourcing & Vendor Management – will introduce the key findings from his research on successful buying. Duncan will be joined by Kimble Product Marketing Manager, Charles Gustine, and Sage Intacct Director of Product Management, Stuart Langer. They will be discussing real-life examples of the pitfalls seen when evaluating SaaS financial accounting and professional services automation software and providing recommendations for how to avoid those pitfalls.

We hope that the webinar will be an opportunity to shed some light on these questions and more. Please register below to join in – after the presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask your own questions.

You can register now for “Buying Business Software to Achieve Short and Long-Term Success“.


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