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The purchasing of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software can and should be approached with the same discipline as custom software development projects. IT should follow a disciplined purchasing process and it must include requirements gathering as an essential component. Without requirements, IT cannot understand business needs. This note covers the following topics:
• Step-by-step software procurement plan from objective setting to deployment.
• How to use requirements to select an optimal solution.
• When to use requirements elicitation and how much time to invest.
Use an acquisition plan informed by requirements in order to find a software solution that meets business needs.