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Sending your big technology project to RFI, RFQ, or RFP forces you to play both patient and doctor. Does that ever sound like a good idea?

With myriad and overlapping business and technology problems, doing the ole' get-a-bunch-of-bids-thing requires self-diagnosis — and self-awareness. Mostly, your request for submissions will require honesty about your business.

Nothing about your RFP will be remotely honest.

Before you write that technology RFP

Understand the entire RFP process is a fallacy. Documenting, let alone recognizing, existing technology failures is most likely outside your personal area of expertise.

After you lay out the needs in your RFP, inevitably you'll self-prescribe a stop-gap, “industry-standard” (IBM, SAP, etc.) that masquerades as a business cure-all. You're hoping that your problem can be solved by a box. Intuitively, you know it can't.

Further...

The RFP writing process compels you to oversimplify your complex business problems so that you can pick from a selection of “one-size-fits-me-and-my-competitors” software provided by contract bidders at monolith tech companies.

Most typical responders to RFPs often know the process is rigged. Someone's boss said they had to get three quotes. Two companies with no chance waste a lot of time. No gains are made. This is not progress.

RFP Problems & Logical Inconsistencies

  • Bidders don’t know your business problems, and your RFP problem description didn't help. Bidders only know their software. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail...

  • Why would you want a technology asset that your competitors can use too? Is technology not a competitive advantage at your company?

  • There’s dwindling ROI in off-the-shelf “configurable” software. Your people won't tolerate another
    grey-box-inside-of-grey-box, over-stuffed UI. If they don't adopt your choices, the investment will fail.

  • The RFP process artificially narrows your universe of options. Many companies (like us) simply do not respond to the charade.

A Technology RFP Alternative

We work with the F1000’s most progressive heads of technology, sales, operations, strategy, innovation, & procurement, and they all tell us that the old-school RFP process costs time and money.

Before you remotely even begin to consider a technology solution to your business ailments, hire an independent technology advisor to assess the current strengths and weakness of your existing infrastructure. Hire a business consultant to clearly outline your way forward.

And if possible, hire a technology consultant that understands both business innovation and technical investment.

Before you write another RFP, realize that RFPs are extremely lousy ways to make a friend.

And when it comes to spending yet more dollars on your software or hardware, a friend and partner are who you seek.