Analysis paralysis is real. It’s what happens when you need to decide, but are faced with so many choices, so much data, and so much to think about… that you end up not even making a decision at all. Studies show that the more choices you have, the harder it is to actually make a choice. This may explain why you endlessly scroll on Netflix, instead of choosing something to watch. It could also explain why a simple trip to buy wine for a dinner party suddenly fills you with existential dread. With so many options, your mind gets paralyzed.
Unfortunately, this cognitive conundrum affects more than just your decisions about what to watch or what to drink. It can have disastrous effects in the business world as well. Think about the number of choices you have when you buy a new enterprise IT solution.
There are tens of thousands of SaaS vendors out there, and there are going to be tens of thousands more in just a few years. If you need to purchase a technical solution, it’s easy to get completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices you have.
If you need to buy enterprise tech, here are four ways you can shake the analysis paralysis and start narrowing down the field:
1. Identify your guiding principles
There are tons of options out there. But how many will help you meet your business goals? Before embarking on a buying project, make sure you explicitly write out your business purpose and objectives.
Use these goals as a map of your buying journey. If a product doesn’t help you meet your goals, don’t even consider it.
2. Embrace Constraints
The vendor ecosystem is only going to get bigger. One way to combat that is to forcibly narrow the window of what you’re looking for.
Think about core system integrations that you absolutely need. Considering security and compliance requirements a new solution needs to be hit. What are your budget requirements?
Eliminate any solutions that don’t hit these requirements. You have enough to think about – why waste time considering solutions that don’t fit?
3. Think about Your Operating Model
No IT solution is simply plug-and-play. How do you want to run your IT ecosystem in the future? Do you want to custom-build a solution, managing every detail? Or do you want to sacrifice some flexibility for ease of use and reliability?
Consider the resources on your team. Do you have the expertise to build out a new platform, or manage a software integration and go live in-house? Think about what you expect from your team. It’s also important to think about what you want the operating model to be in the future.
Focusing on your operating model helps you eliminate vendors that don’t fit your future visions.
4. Consider the Vendor
Sometimes the vendor is just as important as the product. Think about what you want out of a vendor. Do you want a reliable, inflexible old-school telco? Or do you want a new start-up that can get you great rates on a product that isn’t as battle-tested?
When buying network technology, different products can appear very similar, both in terms of functionality and price. For instance, SD-WAN boxes won’t differ too much from each other. When this happens though, considering vendors helps you avoid analysis paralysis. Some vendors provide much more hands-on implementation services and account management. Others give you robust reporting. Others give you free rein to do whatever you want.
The size of the vendor matters. If you’re a large client at a newer, smaller vendor, they might give you tons of attention, even building out functionality for your needs. But at an older, larger vendor you sacrifice this for reliability. What’s more important to you?
Making a Choice Is Hard.
With so many vendors, so much marketing, and an overwhelming amount of online noise, it’s harder than ever to make a decision. Narrowing the field can help cut down the noise and give you the clarity you need to move forward on your buying journey.
At CXponent, we use our vendor expertise to narrow down the field for you. Want to learn how?