The following list of sample criteria for the selection of IT Solutions should provide you with a solid basis for the development of your own, company specific rating scheme:
- Functionality: Which value add does the functionality of the IT Solution provide to your company?
- Usability: How easy to use is the IT Solution (e.g. intuitive user interface, how big is the training effort for users)?
- Cost (one-time, ongoing): What are the Total cost of Ownership (TCO) of the IT Solution?
- IT System Performance: Does the IT Solution run with adequate speed on standard hardware?
- Consumption of Manpower and Skills: Does the IT Solution require intensive consumption of manpower (including rare skills)?
- Scalability: Is the IT solutions able to increase its total output under an increased load when resources (typically hardware) are added?
- Agility, Flexibility, Adaptability: Can the IT Solution easily be adapted to new requirements (e.g. without programming)?
- Modularity: Has the IT Solution a modular or monolithic architecture?
- Serviceability: Can the IT Solution easily be implemented, operated, maintained and upgraded?
- Interfaces: Does the IT Solution provide open or proprietary interfaces for connecting it with other IT Solutions?
- Interoperability: Can the IT Solution easily cooperate with other IT Solutions (e.g. via standard interfaces and data models)?
- Multi-Client-Capability: Does the IT Solution provide the possibility to run multi-clients independently from each other?
- Cloud Readiness: Can the IT Solution be set up as private or public cloud solution (Software as a Service, Platform as a Service)?
- Maturity, Reliability, Fault Tolerance: How mature, reliable, robust or fault tolerant is the IT Solution (e.g. restart without loss of data after drop out)?
- Sustainability: Will the IT Solution be further developed and supported mid to long term by the IT Solution Provider?
- Fit to IT Enterprise Architecture: Does the IT Solution fit to the standards set by your company’s Enterprise IT Architecture?
- IT Compliance: Does the IT Solution comply with all relevant legal and regulatory standards (e.g. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)?
- IT Governance: Does the IT Solution adequately support IT Governance requirements (e.g. by an role based authorization concept)?
- Information Security: Does the Information Security architecture of the IT Solution provide adequate protection against IS threads?
- Data Protection: Does the IT Solution protect company data (e.g. person related data, customer data, intellectual property) adequately?
- Documentation and language support: How good is the documentation of the IT Solution for users and operators? In which languages is the documentation available?
For the selection of IT solution providers, the following essential criteria have proven themselves in practice:
I would like to end with two concluding remarks:
The worst IT Solution from the best IT solution provider might be better, than the best IT Solution from the worst IT solution provider. So better keep a close eye on selecting an adequate IT solution provider as well, e.g. with regard to competency, customer orientation, reliability/resilience, innovation capacity or dependency (catchwords: monopolist, vendor lock-in).
A scoring model, which weights each criterion according to its individual meaning for your company, may be reasonable for externalization, if it is not mechanically applied (so that the IT solution with the highest score must be selected).
My blog „The ultimate reading list for Chief Information Officer“ published on May 18, 2018 contains a list of my most important publications, which are not only of interest for CIOs and IT experts, as they cover topics like recruitment of employees, leadership of international teams, transformation of corporate cultures or personality development: https://kubraconsult.blog/2018/05/18/the-chief-information-officers-ultimate-reading-list/.