Asking the right questions can be a disruptive agent, could redefine an entire thought-process, redirect a team or a company’s focus. It serves as a pointer, aiming us in the direction of the answer. It serves us well in making the right decisions.
It is imperative to ask questions that drives you towards making an optimal decision. Buying a solution is no different.
In our earlier blog, we mentioned that cloud technology has made adoption easy, quick, simple and affordable. Cloud and mobile technologies simply provide unprecedented value!
Today, almost every AEC player irrespective of size is working on some form of technology solution. There are a plethora of solutions in the market today. Hence asking the right questions is important. We discussed three questions while choosing a solution- who owns the data? Who can access the data? How secure is the data?
Continuing our conversation I am going to talk about more questions to asking while considering a solution.
How long has the vendor been around?
A typical construction project can last for years, and you want to make sure you have a partner that will be with you throughout it and beyond. Important questions to ask include: Do they have a legal team and can they fight for you in the event of litigation? Can they stand up to the discovery requests from larger companies?
How do they migrate the data out if necessary?
You want the flexibility of a company that can seamlessly migrate your data out of their system and into another one while preserving one of the most important aspects of your data: versioning. A typical document can have more than 100 versions for a medium sized project and potentially many more for a large project. If you need to look back at a document from 10 years ago, you’d much rather view 1 document over 100 documents.
What is their business continuity posture?
The successful vendor has to be able to guarantee 99% uptime while the product is running, as even 1% of downtime costs construction projects huge amounts of time and money.
What kind of IT infrastructure is the solution provider employed is the solution hosted on the third party infrastructure like Amazon, Google or Microsoft? If the solution is hosted on their own cloud check whether they have disaster recovery sites and how easily shift things around if one of their sites goes down.
Continuous product development?
Consider a company like Apple. When you buy a laptop, you know you’re getting a software product inside that is constantly being reviewed and updated. Just as this expectation is important to consumers, it can be vitally important to the software used on a project. If that software only runs on the current version for last one or two years, it won’t last the test of time. Check out the track record of the product and ask about the development pipeline or product roadmap before committing.
Product support and service?
Remember, buyers now don’t just buy a product; they buy a relationship and a service. Make sure you have good and reliable service available throughout the lifecycle of the product. Consumers have options and construction companies should as well.
By asking these questions, rest assured you are going to make the right decision.
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