Selecting an Enterprise Cloud Solution

January 05, 2016

By Maurice Nagle - Web Editor

Measuring twice to cut once is one thing in a DIY setting, but takes on much larger consequences in business. The enterprise cloud market is fraught with solutions A-Z, and the ability to wade through this software-defined sea to select solutions that best fit a firm’s needs today with the flexibility to adjust to the demand of tomorrow is invaluable.

Selecting the proper IT solution cannot be a knee-jerk reaction, it requires a systematic approach until the best match is discovered. First, it is best to research providers to find what may be a good fit, and select providers for analysis. This offers a feel for the space, and a better idea of “what’s out there.”

After research, a firm must develop its selection criteria, prioritizing points by need and develop demo scripts. With the appropriate selection criteria in place, it is time to begin reaching out to vendors. This process starts with a Request for Information (RFI (News - Alert)) –exactly as it sounds. Basically, when you think you may know what you want you send an RFI, typically followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP illustrates an issue in which a firm needs help determining the optimal way to address via an enterprise cloud solution.

Analysis is the next leg of our journey. It has come time to analyze the solutions based on the selected criteria, and takes a deeper look into the provider—is the vendor stable, what is its prior performance? We then move into the demonstration phase. A firm should invite the proper stakeholders to demonstrations, distribute demo scripts and score the solutions based on selection criteria.

After taking a solution for a test drive, it is time to make the all important selection. In this arena, knowledge is power, and because due diligence was put in along the way by this point the best solution should stick out like a sore thumb. By taking objectives and overall strategy into consideration as part of the deliberation process a company is poised to select a vendor and perform initial discovery.

In leveraging a systematic approach to the selection process, a firm gains the greatest opportunity for long term success. How do you select your enterprise cloud solutions? 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi