The traditional RFP process fails to deliver consistent results when purchasing off-the-shelf or cloud enterprise software. This article examines problems with the RFP process specific to selecting software and suggests appropriate resolutions.
Why does the traditional RFP process return such poor results when selecting off-the-shelf or cloud software?
A primary purpose of software RFPs is to discover how well potential products meet requirements at an acceptable price. Vendors respond to the RFP with their proposal. The organization selects the “best” proposal and makes the purchase. However, problems frequently appear after starting the software implementation, leading to missed deadlines, increasing costs and occasionally outright failures.
Sadly, the traditional software RFP process is broken. In fact, when it comes to purchasing off-the-shelf or cloud enterprise software, this process never worked properly in the first place. It is the reason stories about software failures regularly appear in the technical press. These stories are only the tip of the iceberg; people don't talk about most partial or outright failures because they don't want to be associated with them.