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Top 5 Technology Procurement Mistakes

helpful tipsGetting the right technology into your organization can be a challenge. Between finding reliable vendors and keeping on top of new technological developments, the last thing you need is a problem with the procurement process.

Here are five things that will gum up the works in your technology procurement process and how to avoid them:

1.    Not establishing a business case. Before you ever write an RFP or contact a single vendor, you need to have a solid business case lined up. The business case for any given IT project is not just useful for getting the project approved and getting senior management's backing. You need to be able to provide the business case to potential vendors so that they are clear on what you expect the solution to do for your company. Without that essential information, the solution you wind up with may not do what you've promised management it will do.

2.    Not using technology specific procurement methodology. If you try to apply standard procurement methodology to IT, you're going to wind up with some seriously non-ideal responses. In addition, evaluating vendors is a complex and technical issue that is more highly specialized than, for example, evaluating office furniture vendors. Because procurement can vary in these requirements, you need to be able to make specific adjustments. You need to give vendors the opportunity to differentiate their proposals while making sure that the proposals are addressing the same needs.

3.    Choosing single-vendor solutions. Getting the right piece of equipment for the job is essential in IT. When you use a single vendor, your IT needs are at their mercy. If they go under, or if their product proves to be sub-standard, you have to do a complete overhaul to get things right. By choosing the right equipment for the job, you avoid this problem. In addition, you gain access to solutions providers who can design, implement and support solutions without being beholden to a single vendor.

4.    Procuring temporary solutions. Sometimes, a business will experience a sudden burst in need. Whether it's the sudden need for extra data storage in response to new regulatory changes or whether it's increased processing power for a new application, the temptation can be to procure a bandage solution just to get up and running. This may solve a short-term problem but creates a larger problem in the long run, in that it may be much more expensive to procure an incremental solution. Here is a situation when a cloud computing option, such as SaaS, may be a good fit.

5.    Misrepresentation or misunderstanding. Sometimes, a manufacturer or vendor misrepresents a product. You need to make sure you know what's being offered, and ask specific questions of the vendor. Carefully evaluating contractual language is key here, and it doesn't hurt to have the legal department take a look before you make your procurement.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.