Tag Archives: stability

13 Factors to Consider in Adopting New Customer-Facing Products and Services

I’ve been looking at what organizations should consider when adopting new technological solutions, and it got me thinking. Which factors need to be considered in the research and implementation of new customer-facing products and services? Here is a checklist that you can go through during your evaluation of new technologies:

 

Security

  • Will new products and services pose any risk to data security? If a user were to log in and have her personal information compromised, this would be a disaster!

Stability

  • Will new technology solutions have outages? Many of today’s technologies are “up” for less than 99% of the time. Is this acceptable? Is there something else that users can use if the solution goes down?
  • And will they strain other technologies we use? Some software types “sit on top of” existing systems and occasionally cause them to go down.

Performance

  • Consider the performance for the product or service. Will users feel it is dramatically slower than Google or Amazon?

Functionality

  • Are the features going to be there on Day 1 or will users experience iterations to get to full functionality?
  • Is there broken functionality in the product or service? Ownership: whose problem is it to fix? Accountability: to what extent is it our throat that is going to get choked when there is a problem?
  • One-size-fits-all and one-search-fits-all: should search software work out of the box for 60% of users or 99% of users? Specialists may be alienated if the general search tool is optimized for laypeople (and vice versa).

UX

  • Is a new technology-based product or service going to change the UX of other services? Major changes to your online presence have major implications for users. Even changes that are seen as very positive by most will frustrate some.
  • For a potential product or service, at what point will UX assessment be possible? Can you do UX assessment before making a large investment in resources?
  • Will the UX for mobile users change?
  • Redesigning the user interface to incorporate a new product or service is risky, and most organizations avoid drastic changes. Look at the CNN redesign model…

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Impact on employees

  • What will new technology mean for existing employees’ job responsibilities? Is there currently expertise in the organization or will new positions be required? For those affected, will their other job responsibilities be lessened or changed?

Collaboration

  • Will the implementation of new products and services open doors for collaboration with other organizations? Could nearby organizations share costs with us? Do we want to work with those guys?

Resource usage patterns

  • Will new products and services change the current usage of your organization’s resources? Will end users incur the extra costs?

Hosting

  • Where does new technology live? The days of organizations having to buy/lease/maintain servers are coming to an end. Software companies offer SaaS solutions. Cloud companies like AWS can cheaply offer huge amounts of virtualized space. Due to cloud computing, initial development investments can be $$$, instead of $$$$.

Organizational priorities

  • How do potential new products and services address your organization’s priorities?
  • What is a new technology’s impact on ideal of being green? Is there a reduction in data usage? Does the fact that someone else is hosting it make it green?

Sustainability

  • Will new technologies remain sustainable? Sure, we can afford to have them now, but what about ten years from now? If organizational priorities change in a few years, will we still be locked into supporting the product or service?

Scalability

  • Will new technologies be scalable as usage grows?
  • Will new technologies be scalable as the organization grows?

Getting the word out

  • So let’s say we did implement a new technology-based product or service…how would we tell people about it? What is the marketing strategy?

 

What other factors should an organization consider? Leave a comment!

Why Librarians Should Blog about Their Experiences with Software Products

As a librarian, do you look for online commentaries on software when you’re considering implementing a piece of software? And do you find a lot of information out there? I’m an advocate for more online commentary on software. Here are some reasons why librarians should blog and micro-blog (tweet) about their experiences with software products:

 

Filling the void. There is an astounding lack of librarian commentary on software on the web.

Librarians are not all the same. Different librarians use software in different ways. Show readers how you’re using it.

Trust. Librarians will trust other librarians more than sales folks.

Broken functionality. All library software has bugs, but are the defects a light breeze or a hurricane? My new favorite graphic for broken functionality:

Stability. Many of today’s products are up for less than 99% of the time. There just aren’t a lot of ways to find out about product stability, and a blog/micro-blog seems like a good start for informing colleagues.

Lack of a watchdog. Articles on software in the library trade journals are often word-for-word repeats of press releases.

Buyer’s remorse. Reading a blog is a good way to find out about unexpected experiences or a bad implementation.

Justification of pricing. Online reviews help justify (or un-justify) the price of the product. It can help justify the reader in asking for a discount.

Increased duties. Readers can find out how library software impacts librarians’ job duties. Ideally, software takes pressure off librarians and increases automation. What are some of the new duties that you’ve experienced with the software you’re now using? Are any of the new job duties a surprise?

Scalability. You can find out how scalable a library technology is. Can a large library system handle the product? If a system larger than the reader is doing well, then it’s a good sign for the reader who is considering the product.

Collaboration. Maybe a reader from another library will want to collaborate with you. You both use Product X, so maybe you can share some of the costs by forming some sort of alliance.

Career advancement. Having blogged thoughtfully about software may make you a better candidate for a technical position.

 

You can read about the things that librarians care about at Library Science Daily. I publish it every morning.

 

Do you have a blog or Twitter handle that you’d like my readers to know about? Leave a comment!