When the time comes for your media organization to replace an outdated technology system, you’ll typically embark on a fairly long road to finding a new solution. First, you need to get clear on your company goals for the new tech, then identify gaps within your organization that the solution must fill, and craft a forward-thinking request for proposals (RFP) after that. Once you’ve completed these crucial steps, you’ll be close to selecting the best solution.
In part 4 of this series, Guides to Buying Enterprise Technology, we’ll walk through how to evaluate the top contenders in your RFP process. The goal? To ensure you end up with a solution that will serve your media organization today and for years to come.
Missed the beginning of our Guides to Buying Enterprise Technology series? Check out part 1, part 2, and part 3.
8 tips for evaluating technology
Choosing a new technology solution for your media organization is a big step that involves a great deal of time, effort, and expense. This is why it’s so important to select your new tech wisely. You don’t want to rush the process and end up with a system that will need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
Here are 8 tips to help you navigate the decision-making process with confidence.
- Assess the solution’s features
Compare the responses you receive to your RFP to see how various vendors stack up against one another when it comes to features like automation, integrations, reporting, and more. Whether you’re evaluating a new CRM, order management, or finance solution, consider which one offers features that will serve you now and down the road. Determine which features are critical to your media organization’s success and which are simply nice to have.
- Ensure the solution is easy to use
Your new tech can have all of the bells and whistles on the market, but if it’s complicated or frustrating to use, it will quickly become obsolete to your employees. To evaluate whether a solution is user-friendly, test it out with various departments in your media organization who would need to use the system for different purposes. Make sure it would be simple and straightforward for your staff to get their work done if you were to purchase the tech.
- Confirm the solution works for your industry
As a publisher, your goals likely include decreasing administrative overhead, ensuring your inventory catalog is user-friendly, and improving the time it takes to get your offerings to market. A solution built for the media industry will often be your best bet to help you achieve your business objectives. A vendor that doesn’t understand the common pain points in your industry should raise a red flag because you could run into problems down the line.
- Evaluate the solution’s flexibility
A technology solution should not only work for your industry, but also for your team and the conditions under which they’re working. In today’s world of remote work, it’s critical that your employees can access your media organization’s systems at any time from anywhere. Whatever solution you select should be able to operate easily from home internet networks and mobile phones, for example.
- Examine how well the solution has been built
There’s a good chance you’re already dealing with manual workarounds and patchwork technology infrastructure if you’re looking for a new enterprise solution. The key is to make sure you won’t have to continue to use these alternatives after you purchase new tech. Choosing a solution that has been built from the ground up is a smart move to ensure you benefit from fewer technical failures, a streamlined user interface, and one point of contact for customer support.
- Assess the level of support you’ll receive
Speaking of customer support, you must make sure you’ll be able to contact your vendor quickly and easily if and when issues arise with your new system. Media is a deadline-driven industry, and you don’t want to be forced to delay releasing news or launching an advertising campaign because you can’t get in touch with someone to help you fix a technical glitch. In addition to being accessible, your support team must also have insight into how your industry works.
- Ensure the solution will help your teams collaborate
Disparate data scattered across siloed departments is a common challenge for media organizations. However, it can become a problem of the past with the right technology solution. When comparing your options, give preference to the system that will best enable you to deliver an excellent customer experience to your audience and advertisers. This will likely be a solution that allows teams like finance, marketing, sales, and more to collaborate easily.
- Evaluate integration and configuration capabilities
As your media organization grows, your technology needs and ecosystem will evolve. It’s essential that your solutions can communicate with one another. This is why you should ensure the vendor you choose offers integration capabilities. In addition, make sure your new tech doesn’t require a team of developers to maintain it or to configure new features, as this kind of work can become quite costly.
Pinpoint gaps in your current technology ecosystem
In our new white paper, How to Drive Innovation by Identifying Gaps in Your Technology, we’ll provide a roadmap to help you arrive at a cohesive vision for your next enterprise solution. You’ll get a step-by-step guide to identifying gaps from various perspectives—from the C-suite to finance to sales and more. This will set you up to address issues and evaluate your options with clarity and confidence. Download the white paper today.