SOFTWARE PROCUREMENT – TESTING TIMES!
While it is generally presumed that the delivery of a software on development or a commercially off the shelf on customization to be delivered, gives the vendor or developer commissioning blues. The business interest and commercial payoff more than compensates for the roller coaster journey of software delivery vendor which broadly means post development; production, warranty, operation and maintenance and if taken through the whole cycle, we can also have upgrade, integration and all that unending rigmarole. Even taking into consideration only the first cycle mentioned, how does the customer fare during the tough times of the vendor / OEM?
In reality the customer goes through much more torrid times. There is nobody to give him solace. The software project has been initiated by the customer after huge amount of planning and deciding on an urgent need, for a variety of reasons. In any reasonably big enterprise, getting such approvals are not very easy. Such procurement has not been very easy in earlier instances, remains to be the experience of most of the enterprises. The next important challenge is that the project mostly is cost intensive and hence there is general lethargy in decision making. The accountability conundrum is not limited to government only, it is a part of every big enterprise.
Then who will final go ahead on the time. It is for this reason I call software development or procurement and commissioning to be the most testing times for any company or a unit of it which has to perform this task. On the one side we have the grandiose plans of automation to take the enterprise to a different level, on the other side of the customer, it’s tech / IT / commercial departments generally are not able to match the complex skill set required to handle a software project proficiently. Software is one product which has no definitive cost either of an enterprise level COTS product or the creation of a software. at the end of the software development cycle.
So, the cost in unknown and cost has to decided up based on vendor driven market prices. Time available is limited. Sourcing of correct cost information are next to impossible to reach and rely. Most of the times it is not there. You are supposed to take a leap of faith. Then the timelines, you will generally have no role to play, the vendor will give you timelines and justification, which you will not be able to digest, but you will not have a way. You would be in urgent need of automation. Who all in your management / tech team have comfortable capabilities or a commanding experience in any of these two items, a must, at the very beginning of a software journey. Can a lack of confidence in these two main activities pre purchase order lead to a confident journey ahead?
QUALITY SOFTWARE PROPERLY CREATED, PORCURED AND DEPLOYMENT IS TWO WAY JOURNEY.