Ten questions the CIO should ask his technology vendor

CIOs often face challenges in evaluating technology vendors and identifying the right strategic vendor for their IT needs. CIOs prefer vendor solutions which are able to provide business growth in dynamic and agile organizations. In this era of rapid technology growth the focus of vendors’ is normally more on system usability and features rather than fulfilling CIOs concerns on strategic IT. In this post, top 10 questions for technology vendors are provided which is intended to help CIOs in identifying the right IT vendor.

Business companies look for ways to increase efficiency and maximize their value. There are many examples to demonstrate the role of IT as an enabler for business. For example, e-commerce, web based applications, cloud computing, etc., to name a few. Vendors have also understood this well, and most of the vendors are quick to talk about their product features for its business benefits without understanding customer requirements or market demands. According to IDG Enterprise survey 2015 titled CIO Role and Influence Research it was found that in some of the CIO or industry gatherings, vendors fail to understand the specific business goals and challenges from CIOs. Vendors tend to talk more and listen less to CIOs and the much intended focus on achieving business objectives using technology is often lost.

From the technical perspective IT is undergoing fundamental shifts in technology where a variety of technologies are converging on business – some CIOs see them as disruptive. These trends create certain unique challenges for CIOs to identify strategic vendors for the organization. Strategic vendors are those that offer highest quality of service, understand business objectives and goals of customers and offer superior and proactive post-sales support and service.

It has become highly imperative for vendors to understand what exactly CIOs look for in their products and how their products can meet business goals easily without stretching IT budgets.

The role of CIO in any organization is highly challenging and critical because they play the role of bridging IT and business in order to enhance value for both. Therefore, CIOs by asking the right questions to vendors can maximize return on IT investments by implementing the right solutions that ensures business growth and value.

Given below is a set of top 10 questions every CIO should ask vendors in the current business and technology scenario:

  1. How the new system or technology can adapt with increasing tech savvy workforce?
  2. How can the organization capitalize opportunities in this era of data growth (big data)?
  3. Will the technology be able to integrate existing legacy systems and data?
  4. How can new technology adoption drive business growth?
  5. Can the solution handle integration across platforms?
  6. Is employee training included in the implementation cost? Can the vendor support the system for a period of time without any additional cost?
  7. How secured is information or data in the system/application?
  8. What are the recovery options and DR plans and how will data security fit into those plans?
  9. Will the solution ensure performance, availability and uptime?
  10. Where are the references?

CIOs look towards leveraging technology in a cost-effective and secure manner in order to improve productivity and efficiency within the organization. CIOs can use the above questions to evaluate potential vendors and identify strategic IT vendors for business growth and technology innovations.