1) Make it All About You – Focus on Use Cases, Not FeaturesWhether you’re implementing privileged password management for the first time or replacing an existing solution, focus on what problems you need to solve, instead of the feature set. The privileged password management market is maturing, so there’s a lot of similarities between solutions. The big differences often lie in how they approach the problem. As you outline your use cases, be sure to consider integrations with threat analytics, SIEM, identity and access management, and any other IT security solutions already deployed in your enterprise. These integrations should save your IT admins time, not add more administrative burden.
2) Flip Through That Reports CatalogReporting and analytics are often overlooked in the evaluation, but it’s one of the main outputs that you will need to share with your organization. Key questions to ask:
- How many reports come standard?
- What are the most common?
- Can you integrate data from your other security solutions into your analytics and reporting?
- How easy is it to customize reports to suit your organizations’ changing requirements?
3) See the Solution in Action: Use Proof of Concept and Bake-offsWhen you’ve narrowed your solution vendor list to a manageable few options, ensure you know what you’re buying by scheduling proof of concept (POC) or bake-off sessions with the vendors. POC’s and bake-offs give you an opportunity to see the solution implemented in real-time. It also provides insight into the level of effort that your solution will require. Ask questions like:
- How many professional services engineers does it take to get the solution up and running?
- Can you make changes to parameters on the fly, or will you be forever reliant on the vendors’ professional services team?
4) Get Second Opinions from Trusted Advisors (Account Manager, Professional Services Engineer, Pre-Sales Engineer, Independent Industry Analysts)Your sales rep, pre-sales, and professional services engineers from the vendor should give you a glimpse into what it’s like to do business with the vendor. Key questions to ask:
- Are they knowledgeable and helpful?
- Is there documentation to explain the questions you have?
- If you’re working with a partner, what’s been their experience with the vendor?