In a previous post we touched on the kinds of BC/DR tools on the market, and explored considerations to keep in mind if it’s time to go shopping. However, there are almost as many reasons not to use a BC/DR tool as there are to make use of one.
Before you commit, make sure to consider these risks.
Inadequate security. For reasons of information security or increased control, some companies must work with solutions that reside on their own network. Government agencies typically fall into this camp. Do some thorough research with your IT department before wasting your time pursuing less-than-secure piece of software.
Vendor finances. If you work for a very large company you may want to take a look at potential vendors’ financials. Some larger organizations make the choice not to work with a company, no matter how fine their tools, if they’re small enough to be an acquisition target, or they seem like they may not have staying power.
Technological incompatibility. If you use something like a database or an enterprise content management tool to store information, you’ll want to carefully consider whether you’re willing to do the work required to transfer your information to a new system.
Lack of technical support. It doesn’t matter how great the software is—if you can’t get the help you want with it, it’s a non-starter.
Inadequate backups and redundancies. How essential is a backup plan to your organization? If a potential vendor’s backup plan isn’t as strong as you need, keep looking.
Lack of interoperability. Can the system you’re looking at talk to your system? Can you sync the two with minimal effort? These are important questions to ask.
No industry reputation, or not enough. This should be a show-stopper. Ask any potential vendor for references in the industry, or talk to industry colleagues about the company’s track record. If you don’t like what you hear, vote with your feet and walk away. (Note: if you hear a tool is adequate but that the referrer has been afraid to actually try it out because it seems complicated, consider yourself warned.)
Restrictive contract terms. Sometimes contract terms can be too punishing for your organization, especially in the case of a hosted solution. (Don’t forget to look at the renewal period—some contracts can tie you into a multi-year relationship with no chance to reevaluate along the way.)
Questions about ownership. Will you own and maintain your own data or will the vendor? And if you want to get your hands on the data, how will that happen?
Remember: Something just doesn’t feel right is a valid reason
These questions aside, ask yourself this: how do you and your team feel about the tool and the company behind it? What sense do you get about the company?
It goes without saying that you don’t owe a vendor anything. If you’re seeing red flags… trust your instincts and walk away.