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Specifications?

Do you have a list of requirements and have you thought through the processes you want to model with the system? 

Two useful (and simple) techniques for creating a list of requirements and prioritising them are User Stories and MoSCoW prioritisation.  

Already in Use?

Is the University already using the system you’re interested in and have they done due diligence? 

The system might show up in Information Security TPSA List or in the IT Services Application Catalogue. In that case you could contact purchasing to see if they have negotiated terms or a framework agreement. 

Alternatives? 

Is there an alternative already in use in the University? 

This is a tricky question as the possibilities are endless - the current application catalogue only includes software in use in central services, not the MSD. It doesn't guarantee that the software has been through the entire assurance process.  

The links above can help, and requirements and prioritisation can help with defining the problem. If you are processing research data then consult the Research Data Management Service for advice.