A CIO's job revolves around mostly dealing with technologies and implementing them in ways that will further the business interests of the company. However, one of the most important aspects of the job lies in the non technology field--that of managing people.
This extends outside of a CIO's immediate workspace and encompasses the establishment of a working relationship with the vendor. Every CIO wants to have a successful relationship with the vendors he/she deals with. At best, a trusting, results-oriented relationship between these two parties will be beneficial to both companies involved. However, the relationship between a CIO and a vendor can run into many difficulties, and things can turn sour quickly. This is exactly what a few CIOs we talked with attested to.
1. Being Focused Only on Making a Pitch
One of the qualms CIO's hold against vendors is that they are so focused on making the sale that they might overlook the client's needs. Jitendra Mishra, the CIO of Elder Pharmaceuticals, has experienced this.
Mishra states that it is very important for vendors to be properly informed about the client's basic business needs. This is especially true for a vertical like pharmaceuticals. Knowledge of the business model as well as in-depth domain expertise come in handy in providing the relevant solution to a pharma company such as Elder.
Regardless of what business you're in, vendors play a key role in the success of your business. Using the vendor management best practices to build a mutually strong relationship with your vendors will strengthen your company's overall performance in the marketplace. Ignoring these sound vendor management principles will result in a dysfunctional relationship that will have the potential to negatively impact your business.
"Rather than pressurizing companies on purchasing the technology, vendors should focus on understanding what exactly the business is, how it operates, and what technology environment may interest it. They should have an understanding of that," says Mishra, adding, "If you don't understand the business model, it will be difficult to provide a solution for that."
In their rush to get the deal approved, vendors can be quite pushy, and will want the CIO's/client company to take decision as quickly as possible. This is rather problematic, given that in a critical business environment, taking decisions is a time-consuming process and for good reason too.
"They wish to convert the sale immediately. By the first or the second meeting, they want to convert the talks into sale, which is not possible at all. They have to understand that strategies are time-consuming things. Until and unless the client company understands what impact the technology will have on its whole business model, it's very difficult to take a decision to close the deal," Mishra reiterates.
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