In this first of a series of technology selection tips, I'll look into the age-old question of aligning business and IT stakeholders.
Don't Circumvent IT...
First, make sure to include IT, even if you are looking at a cloud-based solution. At RSG we sometimes witness business leaders trying to work around their internal systems resources because they don't like the direction the latter is heading -- or they simply don't get along.
Circumventing your IT group is a grave mistake. They are going to have to support and enhance whichever package you choose, and none of these products is completely "out of the box." In any enterprise software selection process, if your Marketing, IT, and other teams have strong disagreements, it's always best to surface and address the conflicts as early as possible.
Note also that you may need to involve different IT groups, if your company splits responsibility for application development, network and server administration, and security. They are crucial to any digital workplace or marketing technology effort.
...And Don't Short-Change Business Interests
Likewise, technology choices and system design should never be left solely to technical stakeholders. Sometimes marketing groups abdicate responsibility for solution selection to IT groups on the assumption that the IT team will have more time or expertise. This is a mistake: The wrong tool will eat up much more time and money than a committed presence in the selection process.
Ideally, business champions direct and steer the effort with IT input. This puts a burden on you to come up with business-specific user stories. But that's a tip for another time.
For more selection tips and hard-hitting evaluations designed to help you select the right technology, start by checking out a vendor evaluation from one of our seven coverage areas.