Why should the software buyer assume all of the risk?

Why do so many companies purchasing new systems assume all the risk of implementing those systems?

We run across many companies looking to improve.  Improve their processes.  Improve their information.  Improve their financial performance.  Yet, because these companies have never been presented with any fair ways to purchase technology projects to effect these improvements, they continue to be susceptible to taking unnecessary risks when they are selecting vendors, systems and partners.

Why do companies sign blank check (estimated time to complete coupled with an hourly rate) to implementers instead of insisting upon a fixed price for a completely implemented system before the work starts? Why would you not insist that the vendor provide, and guarantee, results? After all, you are attempting to achieve results, not buy time. All proposals and projects should list specific, measurable results.  Why work with someone that only offers to sell you time? Why assume the risk of budget busting cost overruns by a vendor/partner who makes more money the longer they take to finish the project?

Why do companies implement new processes and systems before investigating how each department and the company as a whole will be affected? How many departments will have to alter their internal processes by implementing the new system? Shouldn’t those new processes be discovered, debated, documented and agreed upon before you implement a new system? How can you discover them without a thorough, collaborative scoping process before any system is purchased? Why assume the risk of a total rejection of the system?

Why do companies force themselves to accept work-around processes after purchasing a system? Shouldn’t any compromises or work-around processes be known and accepted before the system is purchased? Why would you not want proof that the system will work the way you need it to work before you buy it? Many companies claim they want a demo of a system before they buy it. What you really need is to see how it will work for you: using your data, your customers, your vendors and your processes. Why assume the risk that the system will not only fail to save you time and effort but actually increase the cost for you to produce the information your customers and ownership needs?

Why don’t companies insist that the software/system implementers provide a 100% money back guarantee for all software and services provided? Don’t you provide a guarantee of your products and services? This should be a non-negotiable part of any relationship with your vendors and partners. It should never be in question. Yet, how many vendors and implementers avoid the issue? If the partner you select is not willing to volunteer a 100% money back guarantee, what does this tell you about their confidence to bring about the results you desperately need? Why assume the risk that your selected vendor/partner will fail to achieve your required results without requiring that they also put their money on the line as well?

It’s your money. Choose a partner that reduces your risk, not increases your risk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *