How to Choose the Best Risk Management Software Vendors for Your Business
A well-architected risk management and mitigation strategy will usually fall woefully short of expectations if you lack the right tools. Enter: the risk management software solution.These software platforms are equipped with a variety of features and functionalities to help companies identify, evaluate, monitor, and take action when risks and vulnerabilities are identified. Many risk management software systems are custom-tailored to suit specific industries too, particularly the high-risk business sectors such as the health care and financial sectors. With so many variables and options, choosing the best risk management software vendors can be a tremendous challenge. But there are a few points you can consider to help make the selection process a bit easier.
What Kind of Support and Demos Does the Vendor Offer Prior to Purchase?
A well-architected, user-friendly risk management software platform is an investment and you want to be sure you select the right one for the company’s needs. A written features list or chart only goes so far. A live, in-depth software demo is really essential if you are going to move forward with confidence that you have selected the best risk management software system.
But not every vendor offers live demos. That’s a problem, especially if you are trying to gather sufficient insight to allow for a good comparison of multiple platforms. Plus, if a vendor cannot be bothered to offer live demos to prospective customers, are they going to offer robust support down the road? That leads us to our next consideration: vendor support and training.
Does the Risk Management Software Come With Support and Training Resources?
Risk management and mitigation software platforms can be rather complex, with multiple integrations and even more tools and features. While most are advertised as “plug and play” software solutions, the reality is that some companies struggle with the implementation and deployment of these new systems. Even more, may be unaware that certain functionalities exist and as a result, they don’t appreciate a full return on investment.
Support is an extremely important thing when considering risk management software vendors and other full-featured enterprise platforms. Consider these questions as you shop for different options.
- Does the software vendor offer support for troubleshooting and technical difficulties?
- Do they offer demos and training services for new users during the onboarding process?
- If the vendor does not offer in-person/virtual demos and training, do they have resources such as videos and written tutorials to help guide users as they learn how to use the platform to its full potential?
Does the Risk Management Software Vendor Specialize in Your Industry?
If you happen to work within a highly-regulated or high-risk industry — such as the financial sector, insurance, manufacturing, the technology sector, or the health care sector — then you are facing some very unique vulnerabilities and risk factors. Risk management software vendors have acknowledged this, leading to the development of industry-specific software platforms.
Take some time to research the vendors with industry-specific software offerings. These platforms often include features that you won’t find in less specialized software offerings. Remember, though, that a vendor with industry-specific expertise isn’t always the best choice. Do your homework and perform extensive research into the platform, its features, and the vendor’s offerings before you make your final decision.
Does the Software Vendor Offer a Pricing Model That Works for You?
Most risk management software vendors offer two basic pricing models. One is a SaaS model with a subscription-type of payment structure. The customer pays on a monthly basis (although many offer discounts to those who choose to pay ahead for a year or longer) and they access the software on a cloud platform. This pay-as-you-go pricing model is generally the more affordable option and many appreciate its “no strings attached” nature. SaaS software is usually very well supported when it comes to updates, maintenance, and technical issues.
The other pricing model involves the purchase of a software license. Usually, this is a larger one-time “lump sum” sort of purchase. The price tag is usually fairly significant with the higher quality software systems. With this model, you own the software and you are responsible for updates and maintenance. Some vendors offer annual licenses for a lower fee; once the year has passed, they typically “turn off” update capabilities until the license is renewed.
Whatever your preference happens to be, take the time to investigate a vendor’s offerings to be sure their pricing structure works for your organization’s budget.
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Does the Vendor Assist With Configuration and Deployment?
Full-featured risk management and mitigation software program is rarely “plug and play.” Some degree of configuration will be required and many systems allow for integrations with third-party platforms to provide the user with a more comprehensive view of their risk and vulnerability landscape.
For example, a hospital may wish to achieve an integration with their risk management software and their data management platform to allow for monitoring and alerts. When specific conditions are met, an alert will be generated. The alert is then submitted to a queue within the risk management platform, where it is evaluated and addressed. Integration is required to automate this process.
Will your vendor provide the resources to perform the necessary integrations and other configurations or are you going to be left to your own devices to find a developer who can assist? This is a major consideration because locating and hiring third-party resources to assist with configuration and implementation requires both time and money. If you need to pull in outside resources, be sure to consider the cost as you weigh your options.
Is the Software Vendor Reputable With Good Ratings and Reviews?
Testimonials, ratings, and reviews — particularly those on reputable third-party sites where the vendor has no control over what is written or published — can offer a great deal of insight into the customer and user experience.
Take some time to perform research into the risk management software and vendor. Read reviews and testimonials. Consider the ratings. Remember that the customers with negative experiences are the most likely to take time out to write a review; take those comments with a grain of salt. But look for recurring themes and make note of them. These third-party opinions can give you a good general idea of reputation, what it’s like to work with a specific vendor, and what to expect if you choose to go with a specific risk management software platform.
Risk management spans a complex landscape and finding the right software platform can be just as challenging! But once you choose the best risk management software vendor for your company, you can move ahead with confidence knowing that you have the tools required to mitigate the risks that come your way. At iTech, our specialists provide comprehensive and cost-effective risk management solutions to clients in all sectors and industries. Contact the team at iTech today to discuss your risk management strategy.