The Harley Davidson Manner of Choosing a Software Provider

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The Harley Davidson manner of zeroing on a software provider adopted the thorough process of weighing the offerings of the software provider in a quantitative and consistent setup. Exhibit 10 provides an overview of the factors, both quantitative and qualitative, the SiL’K team rated the providers on to aid in their selection process. The factors listed though impressive and quite thorough, lacks in three crucial factors we believe would make a deep influence in choosing a provider. They are future scalability and expandability, flexibility to adapt to probable changes during development and maturity of technology being used. Elaborating on why the above stated factors are important to be considered during the selection process, we believe that sufficient forethought and foresight needs to be put on to predict future demand and load on the software and evaluate if the provider can handle these predicted future requirements by upgrading and scaling their system. With a focus on agility, the SiL’K team needs to ensure if the providers are flexible enough to accommodate a change if one arises outside the scope of the initial requirement specification. This is more of a qualitative assessment. Lastly, the third factor stresses on evaluating the technology used in the provider’s implementation. Care must be taken to ensure though the technology can meet the current needs, it is of the modern age and has sufficient maturity to evolve over a period of time to enjoy advantages of new, upcoming enhancements. Among the factors listed in Exhibit 10, we weigh the following heavily: Training and Support as the ultimate utilization of the software will be by the end users and their ability to use it will have an immense effect on the success of... ... middle of paper ... ...ial stage of narrowing down the providers, they conducted site visits thus gaining insight about how the providers implemented the scenarios given and the workings of the provider’s organization and people. All these measures make us applaud the enterprise software selection process at Harley Davidson. If given a chance to do things differently, we would first include the additional factors stated above as part of the evaluation criteria of the software providers. Also, as a last step to the process, instead of only relying on the demo by the providers, we would include a ‘pilot project implementation’ stage, where the provider integrates a piece of software to the existing architecture to be used by end users in production on a daily basis. This can provide a real test of usability, compatibility and can be used to evaluate critical measures such as fault tolerance.
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