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Off the Shelf IT Solutions - extras (articles)

The articles, templates, diagrams, books and training that feature in these Extra pages are complementary to our book, Off the Shelf IT Solutions. They have been made freely available to download by author Martin Tate. The material is subject to BCS website terms and conditions.

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The usual suspects - the top threats when buying software off-the-shelf

Many organisations recognise the dangers of commissioning 'bespoke' software, but often significantly under-estimate the complexity, difficulty and therefore risk of an off-the-shelf procurement. The consequent approach is too casual and results in projects that under-perform or simply do not deliver, causing financial and reputational damage. This article proposes some safeguards with your approach.

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Integrating the selection approach with other project and IT methods

Assuming that your selection is within a large and mature organisation that has adopted formal methods to control projects and IT, your selection project will need to interface with these methods. This article describes how and where this is likely to happen.

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Method adaptations for the public sector

Many of the techniques in the main selection approach can be exploited when public sector bodies evaluate, select and procure off-the-shelf solutions – sometimes referred to within public sector organisations as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software. This article introduces how and where to adapt the selection approach to reflect the specifics of public sector procurement regulations, processes or registrations.

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The softer side of choosing an off-the-shelf solution

The book provides a structured process for selecting an off-the-shelf software solution. This process inherently helps change happen more smoothly because of the extensive consultation and engagement. In addition, there are usually things going on beneath the surface that in our experience can get in the way of successfully choosing the right software. This article highlights some of these things, and shows how every individual involved in the approach – including the leaders – can contribute personally to success by learning to speak up more fully and completely.

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More Off the Shelf IT Solutions - extras