The coronavirus has wiped out any budget surplus, and then some. Organizations are struggling with slow legacy systems, data duplication errors and manual reporting, but no budget for a streamlined solution. With so many municipalities now facing budget deficits, you might not think it’s the right time to research new software when, in reality, it’s likely the best.
Making the decision on which software provider to go with is painful and intensive process. According to CEB, a typical software solution purchase takes twice as long as customers expect it will. What you thought would be a quick purchase becomes drawn out over many months—and sometimes years. That’s why it’s important to begin looking right now.
Most organizations have a buying committee who needs to approve the purchase, or purchase influencers who are reluctant to change. On average, these decisions involve at least seven people. To avoid running into stakeholder resistance, you want to ensure the right people are involved from the start. By involving these key stakeholders from the beginning, you’ll reduce friction through the process and gain more buy-in.
So, when you’re faced with a lengthy purchasing cycle and a budget that’s been slashed, but you know you need a solution, what can you do? Get the process started, today. Here are some pro tips to help guide the way.
What’s most important is that you take the first steps now. It’s often 6-12 months or more before a decision is made. After that, you’re looking at another 2-4 months to implement the software (best case). By the time you’ve completed your research, narrowed your selection and made your software choice, there’s a good chance funds will be available. Either way, when the budget comes through, you’re a year ahead of schedule.