Technology buying decisions are often based upon imprecise and/or incomplete data points. This results in decisions based upon suspect analysis rather than a thorough understanding of how the technology works and competing products compare. The DCIG Analysis Portal and RFI/RFP Survey System change this process as they are comprehensive online tools that help organizations formalize and improve their buying process. Using it, they can better remove bias from their decision-making process, justify their results and make objective and easy-to-understand buying recommendation to others in their organization.
Recommendations without Justifications
Making a technology buying decision is often a painful process for many organizations. While most would ideally like to carefully research and analyze competing products in a space to identify the best product for their environment, many to do not have this luxury.
To do a thorough analysis, they must first quantify their needs, understand the products in the space, evaluate product documentation and then map their needs to the available product features. Doing this well requires they minimally take the following steps:
- Creating a meaningful list of questions. These questions should ask about each product’s capabilities, if certain features are supported and, if supported, how they are implemented. Creating a meaningful list of questions requires knowing how to phrase and ask the question so that it elicits a response or responses that are also understandable and meaningful.
- Provide answers to those questions. Some answers are as simple as yes or no. Others may be a check all that apply while still others require a short answer.
- Score each answer. Not every feature carries equal weight. By scoring each possible answer in accordance with actual needs, organizations can better identify the products that most closely align with their requirements and priorities.
- Identify all relevant products. Organizations may want to review many products or only a few. In either case, it takes time to identify available products and evaluate them.
- Research and complete the survey for each product. Vendors vary greatly in terms of the data they release about their product and how it is made available. Researching a single product may take hours or days. Researching multiple products may take weeks or even months to complete.
- Present the information in an easy-to-understand format. Even assuming one takes all of these steps, the final recommendations may be rejected unless presented in a format that is both easy to create and understand.
The time and effort it takes to complete these steps contributes to organizations failing to do thorough technology assessments before making buying decisions.
The DCIG RFI/RFP Survey System
The DCIG RFI/RFP Survey System is the first half of the equation to tackling this challenge. It puts in the hands of organizations the tool they need to ask the right questions about any product and then enables them to objectively arrive at the most appropriate conclusion for their organization. The DCIG RFI/RFP Survey System works as follows:
- Provides a survey system prepopulated with questions and answers. DCIG already asks and answers questions about many different technology products as part of doing its analysis. As such, it has comprehensive list of questions to ask, answer to those questions. Further, after years of doing research and using this methodology in support of it, DCIG knows the right way to ask and answer questions to get the most meaningful responses.
- Freedom to introduce new questions and/or answers. While DCIG does provide an extensive list of questions, DCIG does not cover every technology nor does it necessarily have all of the answers to the questions that your organization may have. Using this survey system, organizations can ask and answer the specific questions or add the responses that they need answered for their organization.
- Score each answer. Organizations can assign a score to each answer to each question. In this way, they can objectively score each answer as it correlates to their particular needs. For example, they may only need a storage array that provides Ethernet connectivity. In this instance, they may assign zero points to Fibre Channel features on a storage array while giving more points for Ethernet connectivity.
- Create separate surveys for each product. Once the master survey is created, individual surveys may be created for each product that, when completed, creates a unique score and ranking for that product. Further, these surveys may be generated in such a way that they can be completed by you or even sent out to the respective vendors to complete.
Yet knowing the right questions to ask and how to ask them, answering them in the right way and scoring them are only half the battle. This still leaves the laborious process of having to identify which vendors offer products in this space, researching each product and then completing the survey associated with each product. Even once the research is completed, the results still need to be presented in a way that others can quickly and easily understand.
The DCIG Analysis Portal
The DCIG Analysis Portal helps organizations complete these all-important final steps of researching individual products and then presenting the final results in a manner that is both quick and easy for organizations to communicate and understand. The DCIG Analysis Portal contains:
- Pre-existing product research. The DCIG Analysis Portal contains a comprehensive list of products in multiple technology sectors to help accelerate your research. This helps you to identify to which vendor you want to send surveys. While some vendors may complete the surveys you create, others may not. In those instances, you then have the option to use pre-existing DCIG research to answer the product survey for them. Even if a vendor does respond, you may compare their answers to DCIG’s research to validate their response.
- Quickly present the results. Once all of the product surveys are complete, the results of your survey about a particular module are then visible in the DCIG Analysis Portal along with the results of DCIG’s analysis. This gives you the ability to quickly and easily generate reports that show overall scores and rankings as well as do head-to-head comparisons between different products to show their respective strengths and weaknesses. These reports may be quickly generated on-the-fly, saved as PDFs and then shared with others. Most importantly, they provide a quick and easy means for an organization to do objective analysis that is germane to their environment.
Helping to Ask and Answer the Tough Technology Questions that Every Organization Has
Every organization wants to feel confident that they are making the best technology acquisition for their environment. However to date that has been almost impossible to accomplish in a way that is both easy and meaningful.
The DCIG RFI/RFP Survey System and its complementary Analysis Portal change this reality. The DCIG RFI/RFP Survey System gives organizations the tool to ask and answer the right technology questions while the DCIG Analysis Portal equips them to identify and research products as well as display and analyze their results when they are done. In so doing, DCIG uniquely equips organizations to objectively make the best possible technology buying decision for their environment as they score and rank each product’s answers to align with their specific requirements and priorities.