In addition to asking about specific features, there are several questions that are worth asking vendors. The following questions help in understanding the maturity of products and focus on potential breakpoints of projects.
Does the deployment model fit the business model of my organization?
Before starting to evaluate vendors, your organization must have a clear vision on what deployment method would be more appropriate to the business needs and operations.
What are your key differentiators?
Understanding the key differentiators between the different vendors is essential.
Determine how important or relevant these differentiators are to your vision. This information can help to shortlist vendors.
How often do you release product or service updates?
For SaaS solutions, many vendors practice DevOps and releases happen frequently and are usually transparent to the tenant/customer and consumer. For on-premises products, timely updates get new functionality into the market quickly. If your enterprise requires lots of innovative features to be added to satisfy consumer demand, be mindful about the effect of release timing may have on your consumer satisfaction.
How modern is the solution’s architecture?
The focus should be given to modern software architecture solutions, such as using microservices, container-based deployments, and APIs that provide a more modular, flexible deployment, orchestration, and customization.
How does your solution improve the user experience?
Organizations must confront threats and find alternatives without disrupting their users or business practices. If implemented successfully, a solution will not only increase the security posture of the organization but also deliver a convenient and frictionless user experience.
Do you specialize by serving specific industries?
Large vendors will have customers across most industries. Some smaller vendors
may focus on specific industries, such as publishing, ecommerce, media, etc. In some circumstances, vendors with industry-specific experience and focus may provide more value.
Can I speak to some reference customers?
Finally, it is usually enlightening to speak to one or more reference customers. It is most helpful when the reference customer is in a similar industry and region.