Transforming Your Tech Stack: A Quick Guide

By Melissa Erickson on Jun 20, 2024
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Transforming Your Tech Stack: A Quick Guide

Have you decided it's time to future-proof your technology stack but aren't quite sure where to start? Have you been through a failed implementation and want to make sure you get the next one right? Recognizing the need for new software or evaluating your current software is the first step to a better long-term technology stack. This guide will take you from the initial decision to selecting the vendor or new technology you plan to implement. While this process is critical, it can be completed concisely and effectively. Here are a couple of initial tips:

  1. Build your tech stack with business needs in mind

  2. Choose tools with Integration capabilities

  3. Prioritize intuitive tools accessible to all team members (no code or low code platforms when available)

Getting Started

So what do we do first? There are a couple of key steps you’ll want to complete:

Step 1: Gather All Relevant Data

Begin by taking stock of your current systems and tools. Document their purposes, features, teams using them, and associated costs. Engage all business owners to ensure you have a comprehensive overview. This data collection phase is crucial for understanding where you currently stand and what gaps need to be addressed. Make sure this information is documented in a format that can be easily used by your team and shared out in the future.

Step 2: Appoint a Facilitator

Assign a leader to coordinate this effort. This person should be skilled at bringing stakeholders together and driving progress without personal bias. It would be a plus if they have a background in Change Management and/or have executed this process previously. Their role is to facilitate collaboration and keep the project on track. This person should work well with IT and Business owners, without bias. With a facilitator in place, you're now ready to evaluate technologies.

Technology Selection

This is likely the hardest step, evaluating and considering technologies to fit your future stack. Here are a couple of tips on how to complete that process:

Think Broad

Don't limit yourself to narrow solutions. Even if you're addressing a specific issue, consider broader applications that could solve multiple problems. Engage all stakeholders to gain comprehensive insights into existing solutions and needs.

Document Everything

Clearly outline your goals, requirements, and success criteria. Document them in a way that allows for easy evaluation—a simple "yes" or "no" responses with a notes section for additional commentary if necessary.

Research Thoroughly

Identify the type of application you need and research the top contenders in the market. Narrow down your options to a select few that align closely with your needs and objectives. This step takes time, but it's essential to avoid analysis paralysis. Set a deadline to stay on track. Need some help? Check out these sources - G2 Crowd, Capterra, Software Advice.

Hopefully now you have 5-10 technologies to continue the process with, this is no easy feat especially with the vast amount of technologies in the space to choose from! Congratulations for making it through this step, now let’s evaluate these further.

Execute the Evaluation Stage

With the groundwork laid and documentation in place, you're ready to kick off the evaluation process—another critical piece in your tech transformation journey. The next step is to initiate the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Whether it's a Request for Information (RFI) or a Request for Quote (RFQ), the aim is the same: solicit detailed proposals from vendors aligned with your goals and requirements.

The Objective

Gauge how well each solution aligns with your needs and outline the projected timelines and costs. With preliminary research, you can efficiently narrow down your initial 5-10 to the top 2 or 3 contenders.

What to Expect

While the RFP process is invaluable for initial vetting, it's essential to understand its limitations. This phase is often one-sided, with vendors providing information based solely on the provided criteria. True alignment with your business needs requires deeper conversations, reserved for the next part of the process.

Vendor Selection

Now we are in the final stage of vendor selection, focus on making the right choice for your business. Here's a quick rundown of what to focus on during this stage:

Thorough Discovery

Spend time with each vendor to ensure they understand your business inside and out. From requirements to workflows, make sure they grasp what you need from the new technologies.

Comprehensive Demo

Look for a demo that goes beyond just features. It should demonstrate how the platform aligns with your needs, simplifies tasks, and facilitates smooth data migration and future scalability.

Trust and Fit

While price matters, don't overlook the importance of a reliable implementation partner. Choose a vendor you feel good about—someone who understands your vision and can support you every step of the way and validate that feeling by getting Customer references in the process. Investing upfront ensures long-term success and avoids costly pitfalls down the road.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations, hopefully you’ve now selected your future Vendor. With the process above you are empowered to make an informed decision. Embrace this journey towards a tech stack that not only transforms your business but also streamlines operations, reducing costs and complexity in the long term. Each time you do this process you will find new things: it’s a journey, ever evolving, if you keep that in mind you will always be driving towards the future.

If you’ve been through a failed implementation in the past, hopefully these steps have helped you to identify where issues arose in the past, you are well on your way to making sure this implementation and vendor selection goes much smoother this time.

What’s next? It's time to celebrate your progress and gear up for implementation! Start thinking about taking this initial information and making it more detailed by area with process flows, that’s just the start, your vendor should have a process they’ll take you through, but there’s still a lot for you to do as well, more to come on that next time.

Melissa is Head of Solutions Consulting in North America @ She is a digital transformation leader, passionate about business applications and improving experience and process. She's proficient in business process, architecture, solution building and integration.

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