Get to know the capability and culture of a provider before you invest in their software

In a previous article, I reviewed “Why everyone should care about bad software development”.

The purpose of that article was to help us confront the seemingly helpless situations many organisations face when being stuck with expensive and awful software.

It’s very difficult to get out of a situation where you have become reliant on not-very-good software with not-very-good support. Stockholm syndrome may indeed play a part in this!

To help reduce the likelihood of these situations, though, I believe we need to go back to the start. Before the commitment has been made. Before it’s too late.

And here’s a tool to help you!

Questions to ask software providers before you commit

Some of these questions might not even make sense to you, but that’s ok. That’s where people like me come in. I can help you ask the right questions and interpret the answers.

It’s also worth mentioning that the way providers respond is just as informative as the answers themselves.

  • Where will my data be stored?
  • Who will have access to my data?
  • Is my data encrypted “at rest” or just “in transit”?
  • Is my data being replicated or backed up regularly? If so, how often?
  • What data recovery processes are in place?
  • How do you version control your code?
  • How often do you release updates to your software?
  • What steps are involved in your deployment process and how many of these are automated?
  • How large is your development team and how are they organised?
  • Do you have automated tests for your codebase? If so, what kind?

What’s next?

If the thought of buying software stresses you out, get in touch. Having an impartial technical expert on your side of the table can be invaluable when it comes to reducing stress in the short term and long term.

I’m here to help!