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IT leader’s guide to optimizing vendor relationships

Originally Published:
May 2017

Whether you work for a small business or a global enterprise, your IT operations rely on third-party vendors in some shape or fashion. Your tech department needs to have healthy vendor relationships to acquire necessary hardware, software, or services that support your business goals. This ebook looks at several key aspects of building and maintaining strong, mutually beneficial vendor relationships.

From the ebook:

IT solicits services and products from vendors—but there are other ways your vendors can help you, giving you added benefits from the relationship. What are these areas and how do they help you with IT strategies, operations, and costs? Here are a few ideas to consider.

Input on new technologies and trends
Every corporate IT department is asked for a strategic plan and a technology roadmap that fits the needs of the business, but few have the luxury of dedicated R&D functions within IT to research technologies and trends for the business. Your key vendors do this, though, so they can stay competitive in their markets. It’s not too much to ask a vendor to sit down with you for a review of new technologies that could help your business. Most are happy to do it, as it also positions them to sell you solutions that deliver these technologies.

Other industry expertise
While vendors understand that their relationships with clients are confidential, they are still in a position to offer advice that is targeted to specific industries based upon what they encounter in the field. Sometimes, they can even refer you to someone who had an IT challenge similar to the one you are facing and then link the two of you up so you can exchange ideas. Many IT groups have solved difficult problems this way—and their vendors facilitated the communications that made it happen.

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