SOFTWARE – CAPABILITY TO PROCURE AND USE!
Software has been defining our lives for decades now lives at the individual, enterprise, government / governance and national levels for the last few decades. Software development or procurement, customization, and making it ready to use as warranted by the organization / system and getting it operational and impact making, is not a plug and play affair, as it is made out to be. It is complex exercise needing a multifarious web of skills at different stages and levels to make it successful. Besides these skills, time battered acumen and expertise of procurement and software development process would come in handy.
Software acquisition and its operationalization as business and technical methodology remains ununderstood in the country by all the stakeholders in the game. The skin in the game is the magic sauce. As it stands today the skin in the game would still be a few decades away, however much hoarse we keep crying about our software prowess and process of digital transformation engulfing the nation. We were of hearing of it in the Income Tax software and it has been happening quite consistently in a variety of sectors and software development projects. The first failure starts with the requirement gathering.
The expertise in requirement gathering both by the customer and vendor is not of the requisite level, primarily because documentation is not our forte. That nature of effort we have never made. Having stuck up in a sticky situation, the customer wants to buy a new software, upgrade an old one, and integrate whatever he can of that legacy system, and he wants it to happen immediately. The time window is as usual short and mostly even shorter than deployment and effective operationalization time. While this issue is not sorted out at the customer end, the vendor starts flaunting its software product capabilities in the best of the ppts and flamboyant marketing overtures. Similar project experiences, customer references and an out of the world team for exact nature of software development / deployment task is shown on the platter.
Does the customer have a tech team who can handle this process with elan? How do you test the software product claims or the capabilities of development? What do you with the customer references? This toolkit has been used globally for customer acquisition for huge projects to later realise that every software project or tech project is radically different from the other and cannot be executed in a mechanical style. What about the tech resources promised to be made available? Can the customer get it validated? While that itself is an unenvious task, what is the promise of those being deployed full time. More often than not top class specialized tech resources who work on various would rarely be made available when you need them. This is just the beginning. The nightmare in the next post. We have to create a system by which we don’t land into nightmarish software procurement lifecycle.
SOFTWARE PROCURMENT IS OF THE MOST COMPLEX PURCHASES YOU CAN IMAGINE OF AT THE ENTERPRISE LEVEL.