Creating an RFP for Digital Business Platforms

Write effective requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for information (RFIs) for Digital Business Platforms (DBPs)


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Traditionally, organizations have competed with standard or best practice processes, applications, and transactions without the benefit of new and emerging digital technologies. While Digital Business Platforms (DBPs) are all about getting work done digitally, they are, more importantly, about dynamic, goal-driven processes and application components that leverage emerging patterns of business while dynamically adjusting the goals as they complete work. More importantly, these platforms can please customers as their needs change and the resources that service customers, processes, and applications can dynamically adapt and optimize in a predictive manner. 

The race to the digital workplace is about eliminating analog processes. DBPs use cloud-based software and services to manage a wide range of business processes involving people, documents, data, and transactions both inside and outside the firewall. As more processes move to the digital domain, we will see a reduction in the use of people to complete those processes. The issue is not that people will not be necessary; it is that the people left will be super-charged with cognitive powers, predictive analytics, big or fast data, and advanced visualization while interacting with the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, DBPs will deliver better development environments that leverage model-directed, component assembly, and robotic program automation (RPA).

The RFP process is one of the best ways to ensure successful procurements. It gives all your bidders the same view of exactly what you want, so they can accurately calculate their costs and make their proposals responsive. By providing a common form and format for all the responses, with a consistent framework to compare them in, an RFP gives you more confidence that what you buy will meet your needs. 


Aragon Research is publishing this guide to help buyers write effective requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for information (RFIs) for Digital Business Platforms (DBPs). This book is divided into two parts. This section, Part I, is addressed to you, the buyer, who is setting out to write an RFP. It explains some of the ways you can use an RFP to make your procurement financially safe and technically satisfying. Because RFPs are legally binding and financially consequential, but can also be technically intricate, repetitive and tedious to create, we have compiled the content of a typical RFP for Digital Business software, which is contained in Part II. As an Aragon Research client, you are free to copy and paste this content into your own RFP template and then customize it to fit your specific situation. If you have never done an RFP before, work with your legal and financial staff to develop the rest of the necessary content. 

In Part II, everything that is not in italics is intended to be part of your actual RFP, and is addressed to the vendors you send it to. The material in italics is for you, the buyer. Be sure to remove everything in italics before sending the RFP to bidders. Be advised that this content is applicable to a typical range of requirements. Your company is unique, and you must adapt this material to your specific needs and circumstances. Technical, financial and legal staff should be involved in this process. At a minimum you will need to insert details where we have put italicized notes, and you may need to add, revise or delete larger portions based on what you are buying, what you want it to do, and what you want to spend on it. Do not skip this process. 

The rest of Part I includes a basic introduction to the Digital Business domain as well as guidelines on how to get the most out of your RFP. Aragon clients may contact us for an evaluation of your draft RFP when you complete it.

Toolkit Note Details

Topic: Digital business platform
Issue: What do the digital business platform providers offer and how do they compete?
Research Note Number: 2021-T16

Length: 29 pages
File Size: .5 MB
File Type: Portable Document Format (PDF)
Language: English
Publisher: Aragon Research

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Jim Lundy , CEO and Lead Analyst

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